This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

School for girls

It has been a couple months since I stopped by the historical society museum (open the first and third Saturdays of the month, from about ten till one), and I was in the area so I stopped by this morning. I interrupted a discussion of how they were going to set up their web page--something to replace the meager offering I helped them with. But almost immediately after I came in, another person arrived and donated a brochure from the old Monnett School for Girls. There does not seem to be much information available about this school, so I was eager to take a look at the historical society's latest acquisition.
You can see it was meant to be mailed, and from its contents, it was meant as an information piece to give to people who might want to enroll their girl or girls.
In 1942 the school cut ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church, so this mailer, which is undated, was prepared before then. Thirty dollars a month may seem very low, but prices have risen by a factor of about fifteen since 1940, (it cost just 3¢ to mail a letter), so in today's prices, that would be about $450 a month.

I believe Monnett Hall, a large wooden structure, was located where Monnett Elementary School now stands. (Later this year it will cease being a school, following its predecessor.) 
I had not realized that the brick building, which was built in 1925 as a dormitory, was called Rensselaer Hall.
The mailer had little text--it let pictures convey its message. Is this a modern kitchen from the 1930s?
I never roller skated when I was young--the sidewalks where I was would not permit it.
They had a playground about where the current playground is. You can see Rensselaer Hall on the left.
I remember desks like this. I doubt if you can find them in any classrooms today.
The dorm with old iron beds. I spent a few years sleeping in a much bigger dorm, with a lot more beds.
It is great to see people donating these wonderful bits of the past to the Historical Society Museum. If you have old stuff like this that you no longer need, consider giving it to the museum. And if you have old material like this that you want to keep, consider letting the museum scan the documents so they will have an electronic copy.


Josh Thomas said...

You do a wonderful job of documenting history and current events - a one-person historical society!

I just sent a friend of mine in Amsterdam one of your shots of the new train platform. He came by train from Chicago a few years ago, and we were both amused by the glamorous facilities at that time.

I think you should put your name on your original photos, though, for documentary purposes, to answer the question 50 years from now, "who took these pictures?"

Anonymous said...

Nice work documenting that piece donated to the Jasper County Historical Society.

Josh Thomas said...

I have my Dutch friend's photo of the old train station from 2009 if you want it.