Transportation to School

The first school transportation was foot power. Students walked to school in the winter session and the summer session. At the Harbor Road one-room schoolhouse, the students had a contest to see who could be the first to come to school barefoot in the spring. In photographs of one-room schoolhouse students in Westerville, many of the young people are barefoot.

During the worst winter weather students would stay at home, but there were no weather alerts on the television or radio, and no one to phone them to let them know that school was called off. Each student’s family made the decision based on how far from the school they lived. If it was just snowy, the student’s parents might decide to take them to school in a horse-drawn wagon. In the late 1800s, the Schrock children climbed into a sleigh pulled by horses to make the journey to school on snow-packed roads. To keep feet warm, bricks were heated, wrapped in flannel and placed on the floor of the sleigh near the feet of the children. This was their school bus in the winter.

Horse-drawn sleigh at Schrock Farm, circa 1900
Horse-drawn sleigh at Schrock Farm, circa 1900

Students living in Westerville walked to the Union School on Vine Street, but eventually students living in the country began to be transported in school buses pulled by horses. Local residents nicknamed this vehicle “the kid wagon.”  In 1924, the Westerville School District began to run a motorized bus to pick up students and take them to school.  Today, as you travel around the area while school is in session, you will encounter school buses throughout the community picking up students to take them to elementary, middle and high school.

Last updated: 2/15/2018

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