Schools of the Past: Guilford District #10 - Guilford Center, The Academy Part I

With the establishment of the educational system, although primitive, compared to today’s standards, were the common schools and the select schools. Whoever thought that Guilford would have the choice of sending their children to a select school, but that is exactly what happened! As far back as 150 years some children of the vicinity of Guilford had that opportunity to attend a “select school” which was the name that we now apply to private schools.

District #10 in the hamlet of Guilford Center had a much earlier history prior to the erection of the building that would serve many years as an educational institution, while also serving as a meeting place for government and early religious meetings, prior to official churches being erected.

The primary reason for a “select school” was to provide a better education for the scholars who attended as the “common schools” appear to have a lower grade of education. The reason that Guilford Center (County Road 36 today) was chosen as the site of the new Academy building. It is assumed that perhaps it was at the time a real and bustling center of the Guilford Township. First it was at a crossroads, a stage crossroad to boot. There was a tavern ‘The Angel Tavern” known for many years afterwards as “The Pillars,” mainly as the front of the “Tavern” was adorned with four large white pillars (now only three remain). The tavern served as an overnight Stage Coach stop. Also either in the actual center itself or close by was a Trading Post run by a Mr. Parker, a lawyer’s shop, blacksmith’s shop and harness shop. It was located at the crossroad of two main “highways” the Delaware County-Norwich and the older Catskill Turnpike which ran through Unadlla and the West side of the Susquehanna River to Oxford and the Chenango River, This writer will note that as a former resident of Guilford Center, I lived about a 1/2 mile from the actual Center that the harness shop building still stands on the small farm where I grew up, modified, but still standing and assumed in fair shape. Originally the building had six or eight windows on the ground floor and approximately four on the second story, they have all been removed.

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