Saint Euphemia's School
There are a wealth of
stories connected with the old St. Euphemia's School. It
was built in 1889 [on
the site of the first public started in this town, which
was a was a long, low brick schoolhouse] and named after Mother Euphemia, the
provincial superioress of the Sisters of Charity. She
was the first one to send the Sisters into Emmitsburg to
take over for the lay teachers in 1878.
My memories of St.
Euphemia's started when I first attended in 1936. The
Sisters were a sight to behold in their heavy habits and
white head pieces that reminded us of angels or flying
doves. We had classrooms, with cloak rooms and a large
auditorium on the second floor. My Mother, Agnes
Rosensteel and all her sisters & brothers attended
the school and now it was my time. My two sisters were a
few years ahead of me and I had an easy start.
There was a large dirt
& grass playground in the rear next to St. Joseph's
Catholic Cemetery. Everything from marbles to kickball
were held daily during recess. There was another
playground on the east side of the Sisters residence
where the overflow of recess could be held. Special
events and assemblies were held in the auditorium. I
remember our own Christmas Plays and even the visits of
the Native American Indian Dancers. I can remember my
Uncle Louie Rosensteel as he acted and sang in one
Discipline was one of the
keystones of the Sister's education program. In the
third or fourth grade, I was caught talking and was put
under the Sisters desk for the remainder of the morning
and if I moved to get situated in the close corner and
she heard the movement, a light kick would follow. I
learned to speak only at the proper time.
St. Euphemia's School
Choir would make at least a yearly trip to the radio
station in Frederick to sing Irish songs on St.
Patrick’s Day. We also had many visits from the Priest
of the Dioceses as they would talk on a religious
vocation for those that were so inclined.
One year we had a
football team, with practice uniforms, given us by some
of the Military from Fort Ritchie (I think). We played
no games with other schools but learned the basics of
In the winter, there was
no such thing as a snow day. With the Sisters living in
the adjoining building and a number of the children
walking to school, we were always expected to be there.
One summer a number of us
were asked to be students in the classes that were being
held for the new teachers learning their craft at
Joseph's College. This would run for about two weeks in
the mornings. A car from the college would pick you up
and deliver you home each day. We had our names on large
signs around our neck so that the new trainee teachers
would learn to call us by name. I remember that after a
week of this a few of us tired of the program and asked
our parents to be able to quit. We were told if we were
there when the car came, we would have to go. So, each
morning for the second week, I and some of the others
would leave home early to go fishing or just play away
from our homes.
Back to the winter time,
one of the best times happened at the close of school on
a snowy day. Everyone brought their sled and could do a
running belly-flop from the top of the hill at St.
Euphemia's and end up nearly a quarter mile at the edge
of Flat Run or what was called Whitmer's Wharf.
I know there are many
other stories on the early life of St. Euphemia's that
can be told. My sisters, Mary Theresa & Margaret,
still can sing the St. Euphemia's School Song. Do you
Do you have memories
of attending school in Emmitsburg?
If so, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
more articles by Ed Houck
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