Student Drinking2

Lunch in a One Room School

Students who actually attended a one room school had to carry a lunch to school every day.  A lunch was prepared from foods that were available from the student’s home.  Lunches were carried in a basket, tin pail, pan, or could be wrapped in cloth or paper. Often children from the same family would share the same container.  Food was wrapped in waxed paper, white or brown wrapping paper, or cloth. Children drank water with their meal. The water was usually pumped from the well or dipped from the drinking pail into a tin cup.

As your students visit the schoolhouse, please encourage them to bring appropriate foods wrapped in appropriate ways for their visit. Students should not use aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plastic bags, or Tupperware. Water will be available to drink. The schoolhouse has about 30 tin cups available for students to use, but many students prefer to bring their own tin or ceramic cup or glass jar to drink from.

The items listed below could typically be found in lunches in the 1903 time period. These are suggestions for student lunches:


Sample Menu

Cornbread, Biscuits, or Muffins
Homemade cookies, cake, or pies
Slices of ham or roast beef
Hard boiled eggs
Bread with jam or apple butter
Peanut Butter and jelly sandwiches
Seasonal Fruit
Dried fruit
Seasonal Vegetables
Occasional Special Treat:
“Orange or Banana”