Beyond the museum parking lot to the east is a one-room school, the Aitken School built in 1865. It was originally established as District One in Troy Grove Township in a deed signed by Horace A. Hickok, brother of “Wild Bill” Hickok. It was located south of Troy Grove. A plaque tells of its beginnings. Utica’s Unimin Corporation donated the schoolhouse to the LaSalle County Historical Society in 1990. On the right side of the school is the herb garden.
Every spring, fourth grade students, parents, and teachers participate in a one-day visit to the museum complex to see what school and life was like in the early days. Retired teachers and other volunteers present school lessons, rules, and discipline of more than a hundred years ago.
Each year more than 1,200 children receive lessons and student handbooks that include the history of the area and selections from materials used in the one-room schoolhouses. Local area craftspeople demonstrate old time crafts including quilting, weaving, blacksmithing, barrel making, and rug braiding. If interested in purchasing books related to LaSalle county, including “Remembering the Rural One-Room Schools of LaSalle County, Illinois,” please visit the store section of our website. If you would like more information on Aitken One Room School Endowment Fund click here. For more information on our 4th Grade School Program, please email email@example.com