Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
Student groups on St. Augustine getaway must take the time to explore this amazing little landmark, a testament to our Nation’s unflagging emphasis on the importance of education across the centuries and, quite possibly, the oldest standing wooden structure in the States-a fine example of Colonial construction.
Located near the City Gates, the Oldest Wooden School House is, indeed, an architectural artifact; an enduring expression of another place in time, constructed of red cedar and cypress and assembled with wooden pegs and handmade nails over 200 years ago, while Florida was under the rule of Imperial Spain. The schoolmaster and his wife bunked upstairs, above the small classroom, while a separate kitchen stood away from the main building, due to the ever-present threat of fire and to spare the house of insufferable heat during the long, humid summers; an assortment of cooking utensils of the day are displayed there, and copies of students’ schoolbooks and other objects are showcased in the schoolhouse. A pleasing garden of birds of paradise, hibiscus and other tropical flora scents in the air around the tidy structure while affording necessary shade; mechanized figures in 18th-century attire greet tourists and narrate a typical school day. A large anchor is attached to the main building, added in 1937 by townspeople worried a hurricane might carry the precious schoolhouse away.