Classes (1897)

If you were a high school student in 1897 West Boylston, what classes would you take? Luckily, the Beaman Memorial Public Library has school committee records dating back nearly 150 years. Below is a class schedule from the Spring 1897 term at West Boylston High School. Here are some interesting things to note:

  • Students studied three separate foreign languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, and French.
  • Caesar, Vergil, and Cicero each had his own separate class rather than being clumped into one intimidating “Latin class.”
  • The science classes offered were Botany and Geology, which were perfect subjects for a town with numerous farms.
  • There were only two math classes, and none of them were calculus (thankfully).
  • Bookkeeping was a class. Librarians rejoice!

While this schedule is 120 years old, its subjects are familiar. Most public schools offer math, science, social sciences, foreign language, and English writing and reading classes so students have a well-rounded education. Public education has been a vital part of American history, providing information on numerous topics to generations of children of all backgrounds.

Classes, photograph, record