I am taking a break from old photographs this week to talk about an unusual object that can be seen at Wayne Elementary School. Many third graders at that school learned a great deal about our town in Mary Jane Schrader's class. Miss Schrader's social studies curriculum revolved around Wayne: what makes it special, unique, and a great place to call home. She taught about the town's old buildings, styles of architecture (what other third grade class could identify a Mansard roof?), and about some of the more unusual artifacts of Wayne. Among these was the series of stone mile markers that once lined Lancaster Avenue over 150 years ago; only a few are left, including the small "13 M to P" marker (meaning 13 miles to Philadelphia) at Lancaster and Wayne Avenues, in front of Wayne Jewelers. For many years Miss Schrader also had her class correspond frequently with another third grade class in the town of Wayne, Maine. Though all that linked us was the name of our town, it was always exciting for students, including myself, to hear from our northern neighbors.
Today, near one of the entrances to Wayne Elementary, stand several tributes to Miss Schrader, who retired in the late '90s and passed away a few years ago. One is a tree planted by her 1997 to honor her 38 years of teaching, and another is a white pine (the state tree of Maine) donated by the class in Wayne, Maine, under which is a subtle tribute to the teacher who instilled an appreciation of our town to many students, including myself. It is a mile marker very much like those found in our area, but with a distinctly different message: 500 miles to Wayne, Maine!
- Greg Prichard, Radnor Historical Society