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Historical Tidbit: Early School Transportation a School Barge or a Pung

The barge was a large wagon pulled by a team of horses or one large horse. The wagon would usually have a roof and sides with steps mounted on the back. The boys and girls would climb the steps and walk along a narrow aisle to find a seat along the sides. Perhaps the best time to ride the barge was during the fall when it was cool and the trees were bright with colors. They would often ask to stop to run out and pick some colored leaves to bring to the teacher.
The pung pronounced “pun” was a sled type wagon used in the winter, usually pulled by one horse. Usually, the floor was spread with sweet-smelling hay and a few robes (heavy blankets) were available for the children to use. When it was really cold, some of the children would bring heated bricks or soapstone wrapped in newspapers to be placed at their feet once they got on the pung. When everyone was on and settled, they would all sit together with the blanket pulled up around their chins and the warm bricks or soapstone at their feet.  If it were too cold, some children would get off and run alongside to warm up.
The barge was finally replaced by the combustion engine making transportation faster and more comfortable.
Respectfully submitted, Sue Basile

sue and her plant 2011

 

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