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Old School House Museum

Frankston Cultural Walk Frankston

Description

Old School House Museum located at a current school.

Description

Housed in a building over a hundred years old, this museum teaches education from the past. A period classroom includes information about some past students. Photographs and memorabilia provide an insight into the school system of the earlier days. Historical school rolls are also on display.

 

Mrs. Grace McComb, a Frankston pioneer having settled in the Frankston area in 1852, led residents in petitioning the Government for the grant of allotments 5, 6,7,8,9 and 10 of section 4 of the village of Frankston, Port Phillip Bay, for state school purposes. The application for the 3 acres was made on October 28th, 1873.

The land was gazetted as temporarily reserved for state school purposes on November 11th, 1873. By the end of October, 1874, a timber building large enough to accommodate 6- pupils was completed. Frankston State School opened on November 1st, 1874, with an enrolment of 45 children and Alexander Allan was Head Teacher and Augusta S. Petrie as Work Mistress. A three-roomed residence was attached to the school, possibly the result of the Education Department calling tenders for additions to the school in timber during 1880. By mid-1889, because the school's enrolment had risen to 250, the residence had been converted into a classroom and brick classroom added. Extensive alterations and additions were made to the school between 1913 and 1924 and the names of former pupils who enlisted in World War 1 were inscribed on bronze plates around the War Memorial, which was erected in front of the school.

The school's enrolment continues to increase and by 1923 the Masonic Hall supper room had to be hired. Grade 7 & 8 transferred to the High School when it opened there in 1928. By 1929 enrolments had reached 350. In 1937 three new brick classrooms were erected some distance from the original buildings and these classrooms and the new office, staffrooms and a shelter shed then formed the nucleus of the future school. Increasing enrolments meant overcrowding continued to plague the school during the early 1940s, despite the addition of a forth brick building in 1941.

A two-storied wing comprising six brick classrooms, built in 1945, relieved overcrowded conditions for a time, but Frankston continued to develop rapidly and by 1950 an enrolment of 905 meant overcrowding was again a problem, with halls and shelter sheds being utilizes as classrooms. The Education Department's policy in the 1950s of building new schools away from the business centre relived the situation. In 1959 Frankston was proclaimed a training school for future teachers. A Rural Training School was established in 1962 to train teachers for small country schools. A central library was built and opened by the Hon. L.H.S. Thompson, MLC, on August 1st, 1969. Head teachers who served for long periods at Frankston State Schools include Alexander Allan (1847-77), Thomas S. Robinson (1882-92), William H. Richardson (1907-17), James P. Jennings (1917-28) and William A. Shakespeare (1961-68).

Map & Directions

40 Davey Street, Frankston