Welcome to the Countryman Family One Room School


Meet Gretchen Countryman


In 1999 Gretchen became a docent at the May-Stringer Museum, also known as the Hernando Heritage Museum. On the second floor a room filled with student desks from the 1800s and other artifacts depicted a one room school. As a child Gretchen attended a one room school in upstate New York. She grew up to become an elementary school teacher. Gretchen developed a 1800s lesson plan for visitors to experience at the museum.



Click to enlarge A glimpse of the school display at the

May Stringer Museum


It soon became apparent more room was needed. Gretchen and the Executive Director of the museum Virginia Jackson searched for an authentic one room school building. Due to the Florida weather and termites none where found. They made the decision to build a one room school house. It was to be located on propriety owned by the Hernando Historical Museum Assoc. on Russell St., Brooksville. Next door to the 1885 Train Depot Museum. The future address:

66 Russell St.

Brooksville FL 34601



Gretchen went into action. Fund raising became her priority. For over ten years, she gave talks, held yard sales, wine tastings, a golf tournament, and solicited donations wherever she could. One company made a large donation. (Wishes to remain anonymous) The Texas Roadhouse, family, friends, and other donors interested in supporting the project helped. The goal of sixty thousand dollars was finally reached in 2014 and construction began.




John Warren White, architect, drew up the plans. Treelawn Builders, Paul Beasley,contractor, broke ground in January 2014. The building is a replica of the 1852 Lykes School, except for a few modern conveniences like electricity and a wheelchair ramp.


The first school in Hernando county built by Frederick Lykes somewhere near where Ft. Dade and Citrus Way are located today. The Lykes employed Theodore C. Coogler of North Carolina to teach their children and the neighbors children. 1949 marked the closing of all remaining one room schools in Hernando County,  


Now the Countryman Family One Room School Museum is open.

Come Visit






©2016 All Rights Reserved by Hernando Historical Museum Association
Brooksville Historical Museum Association | 601 Museum Ct., Brooksville, FL 34601 | Phone: 352-799-0129
Website Designed by
Florida Art & Web Design, LLC.<