Once again we travel the approximately twenty-two miles from the county seat to the southeastern section to the Town of Bainbridge for another district school. This week the focus is the above district which has a somewhat humorous history relating to it. The photo which accompanies this article shows the teacher at the front door. The schoolhouse is most typical of the one-room schools of this county, you will note however that this was a protruding front entrance for which we will assume was used to hang coats and hats and as a shield from the winter winds upon entering the building. The photo is a copy of a post card in the collection of the Afton Historical Society (again thanks to Charles Decker). The post card when mailed was addressed to Miss Isabel Meek, Afton, New York and the note written stated, “Don’t you think I have a pleasant schoolhouse. I have five girls this year and four boys. With love - Neva Kelsey.”
We will assume that the teacher in the photo is Miss Kelsey, however if it is documented elsewhere we will stand corrected. History tells us that Irene Shapley Reiling a long-time fifth grade teacher in the Afton Schools attended this school growing up. Later teachers would include Daisy Carl and Neva Kelley.
District #5 of Bainbridge is located in Newton Hollow near Newton Creek on Route 206 between Bainbridge and West Bainbridge. Driving #206, not looking carefully for the road sign that states Newton Hollow Road, you are more than apt to miss it. Coming in from Coventry and Coventryville, this is a rather narrow, rather sharp turn off 206 to the right, eventually winding its way to the Village of Bajnbridge. For all who want to explore, a road map or the now GPS system will prove invaluable.