Historic Sam Houston Schoolhouse is named for the great statesman and pioneer from East Tennessee. Sam Houston was adopted at age 16 by Cherokee Indians in Tennessee, who called him Co-lonneh, or “the Raven.” In 1812, when he was 18, he took the job as teacher to pupils from age six to 60 during a term that begun after corn planting in the spring and lasting until harvest and cold weather in the fall. Tuition at that time was $8. Tuition was $8.00 a term, payable 1/3 in corn, 1/3 in calico and 1/3 in cash.
The schoolhouse is built of hewn poplar logs and is typical of “field” schools of the 1700 and 1800s. Desks are cleverly converted from the windows apertures, and a 7-foot ceiling hovers over hewn log seats. It is the oldest school in Tennessee, built two years before Tennessee became a State. It stands on the original site on which it was built, located in Maryville, Tennessee. The structure contains many of the original logs. The Schoolhouse is now owned by the State of Tennessee. There are picnic grounds, a gift shop, and a Museum on the grounds, along with an enclosed pavilion that is available for rent.
In later years, when speaking of his teaching experience, Houston said, “(with) the sense of authority over my pupils, I experienced a higher feeling of dignity and self satisfaction than from any office or honor which I have held since.
The Historic Sam Houston Schoolhouse State Historic Site is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission State-Owned Historic Site.”, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Sam Houston Schoolhouse Memorial Association.
Please consider donating to the Historic Sam Houston Schoolhouse and help us with our mission of education and preservation!
For more information please call the schoolhouse at 865-983-1550