Life at an Outdoor "Bench School" in 1939 (9 Photos)

During the end of the Great Depression in 1939, many rural schools held classes outside due to the oppressive heat.  Here is a day in the life of the enrollment of the Lincoln "Bench School" outside of Ontario, Oregon.  They were more fortunate than most:  the county had a bus that went to pick up most of the kids from the surrounding farms.  We really loved looking at these images and wanted to share them with you...

old bus photos, vintage bus, vintage bus photo, old busses
1939
Malheur County, Oregon
LOC

Children get into school bus on a fall morning in 1939. Malheur County, Oregon.  You can see that there wasn't much to the land there.  Despite many families moving out West for homestead grants, few ended up prosperous.

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

The boys from nearby Dead Ox Flat get off bus at the Lincoln school yard.  You'll see that many of them have brought lunches and supplies - they were better off than many.  

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

The children from Dead Ox Flat ready to march into the school building when the bell rings. 9 a.m..  They just spend a short time inside, then hold most of the classes outside...

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Eight boys at Lincoln Bench School. Born in six different states. 

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Another view of the boys hard at work in their studies. 

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Entire enrollment of Lincoln Bench School. You'll see the teacher in the center.  It's not surprising that the girls and boys have chosen different sides.

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Lincoln Bench School and yard. You can tell that they had a good time some days.  

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Girls of Lincoln Bench School study their reading lesson. We recognize some of those dresses as flour sack dresses

Ontario, Oregon 1939
1939
Ontario, Oregon
LOC

Girls of Lincoln Bench School study their reading lesson.  They spent much of the morning here, but sought out the shade in the early afternoon.  

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