By Patricia F. Scott
and Charles Decker
Traveling the highways, byways and assorted dirt roads of the Town of Afton proves to be an enjoyable ride for all who wish to explore the south-eastern section of Chenango County. However at times the “mysteries of history” prove to be a puzzle to anyone one attempting to unravel the threads of the weaving that composes the history of this county! Such is the case with the history of the District #5 of Afton.
The 1863 map of Chenango County at the County Clerk’s office shows a District #4 located on the east side of Afton across the Susquehanna River opposite the Afton Fairgrounds. However the 1875 map of the county do not show a schoolhouse at that location. At what period of time did #4 become #5, school records that show this number change have not surfaced as of this date. However this mystery continues, more informative than previously, that when District #12 was formed to the Union Free School on August 8,1874, Districts # 5 and #12 were consolidated. Historical facts are given that on January 2,1875 the District #5 Schoolhouse was sold for $280 to Harvey Church. Since that time is has served as a residence as the enclosed photo will show. For many years the Milton Dean family lived at this site. Looking at the photo you will note the outline of the building, the placement of windows, etc. bearing some resemblance to a former school. It is with regret that more historical data is not available, but many times the school records were lost, passed into other hands and never maintained by the school district. However if additional data surfaces at a later date, the book of “schools of the past” is always open for additional pages or information to be included.