Historic School House

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.

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Houston joined the army in nearby Maryville and attained the position of Lieutenant. He became a practicing attorney and then the Attorney General of the State of Tennessee. Houston served two terms as U.S. Congressman, and became Governor of Tennessee. He later practiced law in Texas, became
Commander-in-Chief of the Army, liberated Texas from Mexican rule, and served three terms as President of the Republic. Sam Houston was instrumental in annexing Texas to the United States
and served as U.S. Senator from Texas for 14 years. He then became Governor of the State of Texas. His record of public service is unequaled by any other American.

Built of hewn poplar logs, the historic Schoolhouse is typical of "field" schools of the 1700s. 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 a still-rural area near Maryville, Tennessee. The structure contains many of the original logs. The Schoolhouse is now owned by the State of Tennessee, and is one of its Historic Shrines which is visited annually by thousands. There are picnic grounds, a gift shop, and the beginnings of a Museum collection.

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. It is located 5 miles N.E. of Maryville, in Blount County, Tennessee. It contains many of the original logs.
The nearby spring still flows 100 gallons an hour.
When Houston taught here, school began in the Spring and closed in the Fall. Tuition was $8.00 a term, payable 1/3 in corn, 1/3 in calico and 1/3 in cash.
Pupils ages ranged from 6 to 60.
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.


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Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
Resident Manager, at (865) 983-1550.
Additional Sources: Sam Houston Memorial Museum / Huntsville, Texas