The decade of the 1880s proved among the most disastrous, desperate, life-threatening (and life-taking)–as winter in North America was at an extreme, the whole decade long. Climatologists have theories we understand today, but were unknown to our Victorian American ancestors. If you read a fictional book set in the 1880s, that touches on a mild winter, be surprised. Today, March 11th, is the anniversary of “the big one”.
Victorian-era American schools, even in the Old West, were so much more than one-room schoolhouses. High schools were prevalent and seen as preparatory for University. Though western one-room school teachers are often portrayed as predominately male, female teachers were preferred–and the reasons might surprise you.