The "Home Garden School" Hosted by Christ Church in 1884
With the blessing and cooperation of Reverend Charles Higbee, the Rector of Christ Church at the time, the Home Garden School met in the Sunday School room of Christ Church. Each student was furnished with a textbook and a "set of miniature household and kitchen furniture." The young women were taught through "actual manipulation" of the miniature furniture "how to set table, make beds, build fires and such domestic operations in the most approved and scientific manner."
The program was intended to encourage churches to "supplement the public schools in furnishing this kind of practical teaching, so important to the children of the community."
A brief article about the Home Garden School appeared in the February 9, 1884 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer. It read as follows:
A good work in industrial education is doing at Christ Church, Pelham. A large class of young girls are taught each Saturday afternoon by a trained teacher from New York in the details of household work, in a very thorough and effective way. Each child is furnished with a text book and a set of miniature household and kitchen furniture, and is taught by actual manipulation how to set table, make beds, build fires and such domestic operations in the most approved and scientific manner. The pupils enjoy their work and make rapid progress, their pleasure being heightened by the mingling of appropriate songs with their work -- songs in which their instruction is contained in rhythmical form, the whole is fastened indelibly upon the memory by these attractive means. Let the churches supplement the public schools in furnishing this kind of practical teaching, so important to the children of the community. The children in Pelham are indebted to the kindness of Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, for the privileges of the Home Garden School of that philanthropic lady. The rector of the church, Mr. Higbee, invites any who are interested in this good work to visit the class in the Sunday School room., Saturday afternoon at half past three o'clock, and hopes that like instructions may be given by all the churches."
Source: Industrial Education, New Rochelle Pioneer, Vol. XXIV, No. 46, Feb. 9, 1884, p. 3, col. 6.