When Roy Amey came into possession of the Indian Stream Schoolhouse in Pittsburg, the roof leaked, the chimney had tumbled, the floor sagged until it touched the ground. But Amey was determined to save this piece of North Country history. Amey and others formed a non-profit to preserve the building and open it to the public. Amey and former student Bernice Fish share the school’s history with visiting schoolchildren.
Roy: Good morning children, my name is Roy Amey. This school was built in 1897. There were eight grades in here, so the older classmen would help the first grade; the third grade would help the second grade and so forth, so it made a very good learning experience for the children.
Here’s a picture here. That little boy is my father. He went to school here in 1907. My father talked about it as very strict, you were very respectful to the teachers, and you came here to learn. Very small classes, very cold in the winter. You’d come here in the morning and there would be snow on the floor, you’d track it in and it didn’t melt because there was no heat. You’d stand around the stove and shiver and wait for it to get going.
Bernice: We didn’t have any running water. We didn’t have electric lights we didn’t have a flush toilet. We had a pail of water out in the entry there. I think every one of us drank out of the same cup. That’s why we’re tough now! Sometimes the teacher would make us a pot of cocoa in order to give us something hot to drink.
Roy: I hope you had a nice time here today and thank you for coming.