Schools of the Past: Bainbridge's The Little Red Schoolhouse

A change of scenery is the order of the day as we travel to Route 7 and visit for the next few weeks the Town of Bainbridge and look and read what historical information has been put together at this time. Some of the districts, there is no information available, others is a different story. However this week the subject is “The Little Red Schoolhouse,” which was common among the one-room school, however, documented history gives us the facts that most of the schools were painted white. Judgement on that is left to the readers!

The following documentation was forwarded to my attention by Charles Decker and was included with several other references with the many articles relevant to the Town of Afton. This documentation is reprinted as was received.

“Again we come back to the original settlers in the area, and their basic philosophy on creed. ‘Work! Pray! Educate!’ was their creed then, and for many years. So, it is not surprising that as soon as any settlement was made, or wherever several houses with families began to congregate, we hear of a log cabin school being started. These individual schools were consolidated later into local School Districts. Early in the 19th century, the Township of Jericho was divided into ten such school districts.

One of the first schools to be recorded was one set up at Bush’s Corners. (Note: this is located at the intersection of Route 7 and County Route 38). Unfortunately, records of this one, and the other one-room schoolhouses, are few in number. We only know of the existence of this District School from indirect references to it from the old Warner Family papers. These records state:

“The first schoolhouse (e.g. Log Cabin) was built on the Prince Farm about 1800.” Also: “Mr. Bush’s house had a large all where all public doings, such as shows, balls, and School Exhibitions were held.”

These quotes show that a school must have existed at Bush’s Corners (Jericho Post Office) from the very beginning. His school was known as District #1. Later, it became District #15. No further records are available until a meeting of the School Board some ten years later. Although the Trustees met once a monthly, no minutes of such meetings were available until the second decade of the 19th Century.

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