Page 3 - LeRoy Historical

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Fort Hill School reunion August 28, 1924 held at the home of Dwight Pierson at
the foot of Fort Hill.
Interior of Fort Hill School 1914 with recitation benches in front. Teacher Pearl Lewis.
each non-resident student 25 cents
per month to attend the school. The
chimney was built in 1918 and it con-
nected to a new “jacketed furnace.”
By 1931 the trustees voted to wire
the school for electricity and there
was extensive discussion about pro-
viding transportation for the 7th and
8th grade pupils to attend the school
in LeRoy. The students attending Le-
Roy had to pay tuition but in 1937,
the trustees agreed to pay the tu-
ition of the 7th grade pupils. By 1938,
there was interest in sending all the
students into LeRoy, but the motion
was defeated 30 to 10 and the vot-
ers refused to furnish transportation
for the 7th grades. Each year, the
motion to close the school was pro-
posed and each year it was defeated.
In 1941, there was discussion about
switching to Daylight Savings Time,
but the decision was left up to the
trustees. By 1947, it was decided to
send the Fort Hill students to nearby
schools. Discussion followed about
either Bergen or LeRoy, but finally it
was decided to send them to LeRoy.
Frances Morgan, who now lives in
Mendon remembers attending the
Fort Hill school in the late 1930s. He
lived on the top of Fort Hill, next to
the Lehigh Valley railroad tracks in
North LeRoy. In the winter, the kids
would catch a ride with Mr. Walker,
who would pick them up with his
bob-sled. The teacher, Alice Canty
took the bus from Batavia each day
and then walked the rest of the way
to school. Frances remembers that
one day he caught a large black
snake and put it in Alice’s desk.
Tom Brodie, who lived down the
road from the school, remembers
going to the Fort Hill school until
1943, when he went to high school
in the village. His first teacher was
Anna Jones. She later married Skip
Lowell. Tom also remembers, Helen
Parmelee, another teacher who lived
across the street from the school.
The school had one room, with
desks fixed to the floor. There were
two benches in the front of the room
where students would sit for lessons.
(See photo) The roomwas heated by
a big cast iron coal stove, that had a
fancy silver cover to keep kids from
touching the hot stove. There was a
partial basement beneath the school
where the coal was stored. The
teacher had to keep the stove going
in the winter and the room was pret-
ty cold because the large windows
were made of single pane glass with
no storm windows. The school room
had wooden wains-coating from
floor to ceiling. There was electric-
ity, although it was rarely used and
there was no running water and no
flush toilets. Off the hall were the
cloak rooms and two “sanitary clos-
ets.” (There is no indication when the
sanitary closets were installed.) In
the hall was a bench with a wash ba-
sin. Drinking water was drawn from
a spigot in a large tan stoneware
crock, decorated with blue bands.
Francis Morgan said when he was
at school, the drinking water was in
a pail with a dipper for everyone to
use. The pump was outside in the
school yard. Tom, although he lived
nearby, stayed at school for lunch
and remembers having cheese sand-
wiches. Francis carried peanut butter
sandwiches to school.
Outside in the schoolyard there
were swings under the big maple
tree. A sidewalk ran from the school
to the road. At that time, the main
road . . . Lake Road, Route 19 was lo-
cated in front of the school - - now
Parmelee Road. It wasn’t until the
1950s that Lake Road was relocated
west of the school. Tom remembers
playing “pom pom pull away” and
baseball on the nearby baseball
field. Francis said that in the winter,
they would dam the creek behind