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Erna Achenbach

Mrs. Achenbach was the founder and operator of one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida, the Open Air School. She was interviewed by Eleanor Fisher on June 25, 1975 for the Friends of the Orlando Public Librarys’s Oral History Committee.  We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center‘s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.

Erna Achenbach tells of coming to America from Germany, how she came from Cleveland, Ohio to Orlando in 1925, first selling real estate and then starting a school in 1939. She explains why she called it the “Open Air School” and her educational theories and methods used in educating the many, many children who attended her school in College Park on Steele Avenue. (Not recorded but provided in Eleanor Fisher’s notes, we read that she stopped her school at grade 3 as she strongly encouraged parents to put their students in public schools to provide them with the best preparation for life.)

Mrs. Achenbach retired in June, 1975 after 45 years.

(Her daughter mentioned in the recording is Mrs. Irma Scudder, who continued to operate the school after her mother.)

Interview Pt 1

Interview Pt 2

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The Open Air School
Photo of the Open Air School in College Park. VIEW Photos of the College Park school and its founder Erna Wentzler Achenbach, the...
Interview with Erna Achenbach, part 1

Founder and operator of one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida, the Open Air School.
We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.




Interview with Erna Achenbach, part 2

Founder and operator of one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida, the Open Air School.We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.




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