Schools of the Past: Greene District #8 Spring Valley Part II

To continue the history of the above district, last week’s article referenced in detail the building of the new schoolhouse in the year 1844. As was previously written, however, this district school was much older than 1844 having its beginning in 1822 and with continuous operation until the year 1940. The schoolhouses that were Spring Valley lasted a total of one hundred and eighteen years. To all the trustees and scholars who attended this early educational institution, as has been said about certain aspects of history, it is nothing to be sneezed at!



When Mrs. Folsom wrote her detailed history of the Greene township district schools, her reference to the location of District #8 was a one line – apparently Amos Hotchkiss owned the land on which the original school was to be located as her reference reads “Amos Hotchkiss – between Smithville and Greene.” As written last week, this location is at the corner of Spring Valley Road and New York State #41 - between Greene and Smithville Flats. A change in the district lines, and this was very, very common in the township of Greene, occurred in 1841 when Lot #51 in #8 (listed as Smithville) known as the Rathbone and Hunt farm was reassigned to District #1. Again in 1841 the farm of Hiram Jones was transferred from District #8 to District #4 and again in 1850 Lots #41 and #42 known as the Juhel Tract of Richard Tremaine, Harley, Levi, and Edmund Beardsley, Henry Manwarring and C. P. Blakesley was transferred from District #8 to District #18. With all of these changes one may at times wonder, well where do I send my children for their education?!

As previously written this school came into existence in 1822 with Russell Horton, Cyrus Thornton and Nathaniel Dodge being the trustees of this new district school. Other gentlemen’s names who appear in the history included Greene, Horton, Foulds, Avery, Davis, Straight, Campbell, Marvin with the average scholar population ranging from a high of 80 in 1852 to a low of 33 by 1887. After this year, no scholars were listed in Mrs. Folsom’s history.


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