In the 19th century over 400 one-room schools dotted Delaware County’s landscape, the last remaining open until the 1960s. Today they are fondly remembered by former teachers and students alike. Many one-room schools have been converted for use in a multitude of ways. The most common schoolhouse seen in Delaware County was a small, one-room, wood framed structure, varying in size. A common misconception about one-room schools is that they were painted red. In fact, most schoolhouses were white. The care of the building was the responsibility of the trustee.
“The school trustee in Delaware County was generally a successful, though not necessarily wealthy, farmer who was considered to be a man of integrity and had some ability to make good decisions.”
Pamela S. Hillebrand, “Treasures of the One-Room Schoolhouse”
In the nineteenth century mail bound for Delaware County arrived by stagecoach and later by train. It was delivered to a post office, often housed in a general store.Before the 1890s there was no rural delivery of mail to individual addresses in Delaware County. Residents had to go in person to the post office in order to pick up or send correspondence and packages.
“My parents had sent a postcard to my older brother telling him when a package was going to arrive from them. We had to go by horse and wagon to the depot at Shinhopple to pick it up.”Despite the inconvenience a trip to the nearest town to pick up mail provided rural families with an opportunity to socialize and catch up with their neighbors.
John Scofield, East Branch, NY