My thanks to my aunt Mary for her thoughts from memories of tales told about her childhood and the Farquhar School located in Somerset Township, a few miles north of Interstate 70 on route 917. I am grateful to cousinWalt for the photograph of the school and cousin Bill for urging me to do a webpage. I can imagine my father, Bill, running around the school yard with his siblings, George, Liz,Stan,Ann, Edgar, Mary, John, Adam and Max, the
youngest probably attended the Somerset and Bentleyville school.
Picture yourself being awakened in the early morning hours, on a cold winter morn; you and your brothers and sisters, sharing a bedroom, sometimes two and three to a bed, gathering around the coal heating and cooking stove to keep warm. Having, fresh from the source, retrieved the evening before, in the barn, twenty feet from your back door, whole creamy milk and butter,with warm newly baked bread for your breakfast. Then bundling in your woolies, while your Daddy is hitching the team, Kit and Kate to the wagon, for your ride to Farquhar School. There were times they went by sled. I have ridden in that wagon, on that farm on German Hill, Bentleyville, and I can tell you it is one of my fondest memories.The neighborhood and the Petrisek children took that trip through the deep cold snow each winter day to a one room schoolhouse, heated by a pot-bellied stove to learn a full schedule of subjects, taught by Miss Evelyn M.
Mitchell, Miss Carson and Miss Buchanan.
Actually there was this type of school throughout the area. The Carlton Motel is the site of one and near the old Lanik farm adjoining Ginger Hill, Fallowfield and Cokeburg Junction are others. The students attended Farquhar
School, grades 1 through 8, in 1920, two buildings, grades1to 4 and 5 to 8th, then on to Somerset school. Our Miss Mitchell taught third grade at Farquhar. Reba Edgar taught at Fallowfield, and Mrs. Ames at Somerset.
Most likely the children, from the neighboring farm of Tony and Marie Cario, attended also.
My uncle and some of the boys would wander over the hill from school and have a puff or two on a cigar that one of them smuggled to school, upon returning to class, would be nauseous or ÔsickÕ, and explained it was
because of Ôeating berriesÕ.
Nearby was a coal shed for fuel storage and two out-houses, one for the boys and the other for the girls. Water could be had from the pump just off the porch, and canÕt you just hear the bell ringing?
A home was erected on the base of the school and all the buildings are gone. I wonder if
the pump is still there. I am sure the spring still holds some water, and the Õ berriesÕ still grow over the hill.
Helen Grayce Petrick Ezarik October 3, 1999
Mitchell, Alexander, Coyle, drutch, granus, hout, hrutkay, petrisek, sworcheck, velican,, crago, hout, smiley, smollar, soliani, tomajko, twordon, huffman, mollanauer, tombaugh, nicholl, myers.
Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Atlas of Washington Co. Pennsylvania (Condil, Ohio: J. A. Caldwell 1876)
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