At first glance, the ramshackle building near the historic city gates of St. Augustine, Florida may look like a movie set. Surely no house could be that weathered and still stand! But records suggest that the tiny house may be the oldest surviving wooden school building in the United States.
The house first appears on St. Augustine's tax rolls in 1716, but it was constructed before then. By 1788, the building was only "in fair condition," according to a Spanish map of that time.
No one knows for sure whether the St. Augustine schoolhouse truly is the oldest wooden school in the United States. New Mexico and other parts of the country claim to have schools much older. Nevertheless, the St. Augustine Schoolhouse offers some insights into how North American buildings were constructed back in the 1700s.