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Center School 1900
Center School circa 1900
Center School todayCenter School today
Center School in Barkhamsted, CT.  The building dates to the 1820s and served as a district school until 1937.  It is currently maintained as a museum of early Barkhamsted education by the Barkhamsted Historical Society.

    Michael Day is a former elementary school teacher and principal from Barkhamsted who, in a singular demonstration of Connecticut Yankee inventiveness, invented a second career for himself.  Mike has always had a strong interest in history, especially schoolhouse history. On his own and leading classes of students, he became aware that many of the one room schoolhouse museums didn’t have the primers and other books the children studied back in the day. Mike figured that if they didn’t have the books in Connecticut they probably weren’t available anywhere. Mike knew that there were many one room schoolhouse museums across the U.S.A. that might want period schoolbooks but wouldn’t know where to get them.

  Enter Clippership Publications, Mike’s business that he started in 2003. By himself, and networking with the Country Schools Association, Mike is supplying one room schoolhouse museums across the country  with authentic primers  and other period printed material. You’ll find Clippership books at Sturbridge Village, the New Haven Museum, Historic Deerfield, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and at one room schoolhouse museums all across America. To keep the cost down, Clippership Publications publishes everything in paperback. The contents are reproductions of actual primers, children’s literature, and historical accounts, including the wonderful black and white illustrations of the time.

Titles include The New England Primer (Boston 1777), The Child’s First Primer (Philadelphia 1800), An 1880 Schoolhouse Sampler,  and Boarding Round: The Life of a Teacher in the 19th Century, made up  a collection of spirited reminiscences by  old time teachers  that had this writer laughing out loud. Clippership Publications sells books in quantity to historical societies and also individually to history buffs like me. Check their website for a complete list of their books and surprisingly reasonable prices.

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