Little Red School
Shipman, Illinois, is home to our February schoolhouse—Little Red School— which adorns our cover. The building was constructed in 1906 and moved in 1976 from its original location on Prairie Dell Road to its present location in
Shipman Community Park, as part of the town’s bicentennial project. Shipman is
located in Macoupin County and is about 50 miles NNE of St. Louis, Missouri.
The Kitchen Klatter Band, a creative group averaging twenty local ladies, is credited with acquiring and restoring the Little Red School. The ladies organized their
group in 1952 when a neighboring town, Medora, needed entertainment for its
two-day annual BBQ. Named for their use of inventive musical instruments made
of kitchen and household items, the group performed on the flatbed of a semi-truck
with pots and pans, along with kazoos and a piano, and was paid $50 for their picnic
performance. Soon a parade of paid performances followed and the women had to
decide what to do with the money.
Their first project was a hot lunch program for the local elementary school, a proj-
ect they did for three years until the school district took over that responsibility. Af-
ter acquiring the local park by means of a quick-claim deed, the ladies went to work
cleaning out the weeds and brush, and over the years adding a pavilion, the Little Red
School, a playground, a War Memorial, and more. It was a selfless effort. Original
member, Fern Halliday, 94, said, “We never kept one penny for gas or anything—it
all went back into the community.”
From 1954 until 1994, the ladies annually sponsored a two-day picnic and homecom-
ing at the Shipman Community Park. After forty years, in 1995, they turned over respon-
sibility of the picnic and the park to a capable group who formed the Shipman Commu-
nity Picnic Association. The park is owned by The Village of Shipman (the town).
According to the Southwestern Farm and Home Museum’s website, the Little Red
School contains some of its original furnishings, including desks, a pot-belly stove,
blackboards, dictionary and stand, maps, and more. The school, as was typical of
buildings in its day, was often used as a meeting place for youth and adult organizations in Shipman. It is the only one-room school in Macoupin County that has been
preserved for educational purposes. Today it is still in good use as a public reading
center and library.
The museum is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing a lifetime of
education in a few hours—a 4,000-square foot living memorial to area farmers. Costs
for the museum were covered by private contributors, fundraising events, and donated labor. Visit their website: www.swfhmuseum.com.
Visitors to the museum will learn about the history of farming and rural life in the
U.S. Museum hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 4, with guided tours
available by appointment. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for students aged 6 to 16, and
free for children under 6. Obtain additional information by calling 618-729-3278.
Cover photo image provided by Dreamstime.com
Did you know that you can submit a photograph of a school for cover consideration? Send us several
dead-centered photos with natural surroundings. The front or front/side view is best. If we select
your photo, we will need a 9 x 11 photo, negative, or digital image (300 dpi). If your photograph is
used, we will pay you $50 and feature your name as cover photographer. Send a digital image of your
photograph to Publisher@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. If you are unable to send a digital image,
mail your photograph and details about the school to Cover Photo Search, The Old Schoolhouse
Magazine, P.O. Box 8426, Gray, TN 37615. Be sure to include your name, email address, and phone