Schools of the Past: Guilford District #12 – The Trestle School

The subject of this week’s article “the Trestle School” still stands on County Road #35 about half-way between Guilford Center and what is known as East Guilford and is greatly changed from the photo that is included with this documentation. This writer has also included for this article a photo of the late Olin Phillips driving his mule cart to school. His former farm is located on the Phillips-Odell Road which leads off County Road #35 towards what is known as Godfrey’s Corners on County Road #37 (Winsor Corners to Mt. Upton Road).

The Trestle School (so named for the long trestle on the former O&W Railroad from Guilford to Sidney) is located, as written above, in an area known as Humphrey’s Corners. The history of this early schoolhouse dates approximately to 1831 and when traveling this road the school is located in a small hollow about 700 feet south of what is now the Rockdale Road. Now that I have thoroughly confused you with all these directions, take a nice Sunday afternoon drive and explore the area for yourself. You cannot get lost!



The Trestle school was a fairly large for its day and the average school population was between 12 and 14 students. To name a few of the older generation who attended this district school were Pershing Schlafer, Charles Hatton, Olin Phillips, Henry Blinco, and Robert Phelps. As was the norm with these district schools one teacher taught all the grades.

Back to Charles Hatton, who was a Grade 4 (1931) student and quite a poet white he was attending school there. One such poem appeared in the June 1931 issue of THE PINNACLE, which was before the consolidation of the district schools in the township. His poem was called “RAIN” and is printed below as it appeared in the above publication!

PIT, PAT, HEAR THE RAIN

FALLING ON THE WINDOWPANE

LITTLE PUDDLES IT WILL MAKE

KEEPING ME WIDE AWAKE

IN THE MORNING, I WILL WADE

IN THE PUDDLES IT HAS MADE

THERE MY SAIL BOATS I WILL SAIL

MAKE BELIEVE I AM CARRYING MAIL

It has been written, that in spite of the lessons that the students had to learn, such as the three ‘Rs’: Geography, History, Arithmetic, all was not work and no play in these early schools. Boys will be boys and they enjoyed playing pranks on each other and teasing and picking on the girls.


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