Knapp Heritage Park - North Side School

North Side School at Knapp Heritage Park, Arlington, TX
  • Year Built: 1909
  • Builder: Joseph Crawley
  • Orig. location: Arlington
  • Photo: O. K. Carter

About the North Side School:

On occasion, teachers bring their elementary-age students for a day of classes at this school, which is equipped with turn-of-the-century (as in the century before this, more than 110 years ago) seating, blackboards, and archaic slate writing boards for individual students.

Though Arlington had its share of modest schoolhouses, they were perhaps not as modest as this one, which was essentially an emergency school building used for only a single term. It is, nonetheless, a good example for students to see “the way things used to be” in an era long before computers, laptops, cellphones, or social media. Or for that matter, air conditioning or central heating.

After Arlington's North Side School at 433 North Center burned in 1909, this board and batten structure was built on the school grounds. Two grades met here until a new brick building was erected. Contractor Joseph Crawley, who built this structure, bought it and moved it to 304 South Pecan. It served as his office until 1924 when it became a storage shed. The building was discovered by local entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan Dipert, who recognized it as Arlington’s oldest existing schoolhouse and donated it to the Arlington Historical Society. In 1977 Arlington's oldest surviving schoolhouse was relocated here and continues to be the Knapp’s most popular attraction—particularly to children.

Also at Knapp Heritage Park: