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Salisbury Graded School - 1st Grade Planting in Garden

Salisbury NC Graded School 1st Grade planting in garden. 

In the 17th century, school gardens began to be seen in Europe.  By 1869, there was an Austrian mandate that all schools must have a garden.  Similar mandates followed in other European countries.  The first official school garden in the United States was at the George Putnam School of Roxbury, Massachusetts, where the children grew wildflowers and vegetables around 1890.  In 1897, the National Cash Register Company established a Boy's Garden to instill good work ethic. By the early 20th century, school gardens became popular throughout the country.  By World War I and through World War II, a school garden was a sign of patriotism.  

In 1914, the Superintendent of Public Instruction for North Carolina published a booklet on Plans for Public Schoolhouses and School Grounds.  In it are included plans for planting the school grounds and a list of suitable plants, from trees to annuals.  The instructions stated that “no school ground should have less than two (2) acres, and where there is a school garden twice that area is none too large.”   Playgrounds were also deemed a necessity and there are even plans for building simple playground equipment. 

Postcard series no. 0162 Raphael Tuck & Sons



Plans for Public Schoolhouses and School Grounds, Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Raleigh, 1914.

School Gardens

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