While learning to sew, the girls in the classes would learn to sing as well. For 50 years, there was always music at each class. The songs “Chickadee,” “A Little Boy Went Walking,” “Here’s A Ball for Baby,” “Piggy-wig and Piggy-wee,” all complete with gestures, were sung as the children developed their skills.
Every August, the students were invited to a picnic at the Wardwellss mansion, Pinehurst, to celebrate the summer’s successes. Medals were awarded for perfect attendance — silver for one year, gold for five years.
While Mrs. Wardwell died in 1912, other teachers carried on the school until 1941. After World War I, the classes were modernized, and the making of slips and dresses was added.
By the time World War II broke out, sewing was being taught in the public schools and machine-made clothing had ended the need for the school.
Tickets are still available for Wednesday’s drawings. The Springfield Historical Society is also open today from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Donations are $5 per ticket or five tickets for $20.