Basket boarders

27 Sep

Back when the “The Bunch” were here in 1916, it was common for students to do what was called “basket boarding.” The thing was that the school itself had no dorms, so students chose among several options. If you had the money and wanted to, you could rent a room in a house, get meals there or in town, somewhat like many students do today. Or if you lived nearby, you could easily commute. But if you lived farther away, commuting was just not possible, not back then. The roads were too primitive, cars too expensive…

One option many students followed because it solved both the commute problem and was relatively inexpensive was to basket board. Your blogger once interviewed a woman who did this. She lived on the family farm east of Rochester, and each week took the trolley to Brockport, carrying her books and yes, a basket of food for the week! Every weekend she would go home, replenish her basket, and then return to Brockport and the room she rented at the beginning of the week. (The family she rented from supplied some perishables, like milk; the basket would be packed with things like bread, cheese, apples…) That student was Ethel Henning ’20, who went on to teach for many years in the Walworth schools.


Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Basket boarders

  1. Janet Reeves

    September 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I just returned from the 175th Brockport Birthday Party. Graduated in 1950 and “basket boarded” three years.
    We 7 girls lived on the 2nd & 3rd floors had use of the kitchen three hours a day. It had changed some as we made a menu, shopped in town and made meals for the week. A great learn in short order cooking and cleaning up. A great experience. Jan

  2. Charlie Cowling

    September 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks Jan, how interesting, I hadn’t realized people were still basket boarding in the ’50s.


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