From a Class of One to 640
I began my school career in 1951, the lone kindergartner. My brothers and I walked up Plymouth Rd., carrying our lunches.
Popkins School was built in 1870 at a cost of $1,498.95. Named for the neighboring Popkins family on Earhart, it replaced a wooden building that dated back to 1824, when Plymouth Rd. was still called North Trail. When the new school opened, the old one was used as a barn by the Bolgos family. When I was young, my aunt Alma's family ran the Bolgos Dairy on the same property. In the spring, we would tap the maple trees in their woodlot.
The first teacher in the new school was paid $40 a year. In 1871, she taught four months of "winter school" and four months of "summer school."
During WWI the school hosted war bond drives. A furnace and flagpole were added in 1918, followed by inside bathrooms in 1921. An enclosed entryway was built in the 1930s; when I was in school, we hung our coats and left our boots there. It was cold enough in the entryway that the Bolgos Dairy left small milk cartons there to accompany our lunch.