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Historical Highlights

Town of Sand Lake Schools Prior to 1929

With the Averill Park Central School District (APCSD) celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2004, it was thought appropriate to describe school life in the Town of Sand Lake prior to 1929.

As was common throughout rural New York State, most towns had one-room schools with very few offering high school programs. High schools operated in cities and large villages, and the majority of rural pupils were denied an opportunity for secondary education because of lack of money or transportation.

Also prevalent were private schools. Among those in the Town of Sand Lake were:

Does anyone know the location of any of the places listed above in "quotes"?

annontated map of Sand Lake schools 1876

Click on a number to see that school...or just scroll down to see them all. Click on any of the images to see a larger version.

map of school 1

school 1

school 1, another view with class and teacher

District No.1

(Above) This was located on the west side of Burden Lake at the northwest corner of Sheer and Biittig Roads. A new historical marker designates this site (2014).

(Below) Al Hayner's father is one of the students in this photo, just to the teacher's right.


map of school 2

school 2

District No. 2

located on the east side of Burden Lake at the northeast corner of Holcomb and Methodist Farm Roads. No mention is made of its joining the district.

map of school 3

school 3

District No. 3

located in the southwest corner of town. No mention is made of its joining the district.

map of school 4

school 4

District No. 4

for the West Sand Lake area was next to the Salem United Brethren Church on Route 150. Class pictures were often taken on the steps of the church. Today, with its second story, it is an apartment house.

map of school 5

school 5

District No. 5

Miller District School was on Thais Road. No mention is made of its joining the APCSD.

map of school 6

school 6

District No. 6

Sliter's Corner School was near the southeast corner of NYS Route 150 and Miller's Corners Road (County Route 50). [Some details]

map of school 7

school 7

District No. 7

a two-room school at what is now American Legion Sergeant Walter Adams Post No. 1021. Eighth grade graduation was begun at this school. Mrs. Ida Wendell Butler remembered her graduation in 1912 in the ballroom of the Gabler (Lakeview) Hotel.

map of school 8

school 8

District No. 8

Glass Lake School was on the corner of Glass Lake Road and Routes 43 & 66. It still stands and is the home of Mrs. Terry Rutherford. Behind the house are the boys' and girls' outhouses, now used as storage.

map of school 9

school 9

District No. 9

Miller District School on Taborton Road has also been converted to a home and is the residence of Wayne Schulz.

Iona Mosher remembered that there were 20-35 pupils in grades 1-8 at the Miller District No. 9 School on Taborton Road. English, Arithmetic, Geography, History and Spelling were taught daily. Reading Writing, Drawing and Physiology were taught once or twice a week. Two toilets were provided beyond the building, one for girls and one for boys. Sears Roebuck catalogues were used for toilet paper. There was no facility for washing your hands - no towel, no basin. Among the teachers who taught there were: Ruby Coons, Fannie Coons, Octa Peck Houser who came to school by horse and buggy from Poestenkill, and Emma (Shier) Brown.

map of school 10

school 10f

school 10 with students

District No. 10

(Above) Larkin School was on Momrow Road.

(Below) Larkin School pupils in front row, l to r, are: Florence Rendert, John Garrabrant, Eric Muellecker, Lester Rendert, Lester Sowalsky. Back row, l to r, are: Margaret Deckett, Hazel Deckett, Ruby Coon, teacher, and Esther Kirchner.

Judy Rowe's mother-in-law, Harriet Moses, remembered her first job after she had finished high school at Berlin was completing a term for the teacher at the Larkin School, District No. 10, who was sick (actually pregnant, but one didn't say that). She boarded at Crist Crapes Hotel. There was no janitor. Teacher and pupils were responsible for splitting logs if necessary, bringing them in and carrying out the ashes. They had to clean the pail and dipper and provide fresh water twice a day. Sweeping the floor and cleaning the windows and desks were also their responsibility. She remembered buying cans of lye for the outhouse and being sure there were corn husks to be used as toilet paper. She was 18 years of age and went from the role of being a young girl to an adult who "read the Handbook for the thousandth time" and was responsible for teaching some boys taller than she was.

map of school 11

school 11

District No. 11

Taborton School was located on the shores of Little Bowman's Pond. There is a house on the site of this school.

School Districts No.'s 1,7, 8 and 9 of the Town of Sand Lake and District No. 1 of the Town of Poestenkill formed the original Averill Park Central School District in 1929. Other Sand Lake districts were annexed as follows: District No. 11 (1934), District No. 4 (1934), District No. 10 (1938), District No. 6 (1939). Would persons in 1929 ever have envisioned the magnitude of the outstanding buildings and quality of education available 75 years later? Congratulations Averill Park Central School District; you have given us a proud legacy!

picture outside Poestenkill's Round Top School

District No. 1, Round Top School of Poestenkill

Shown below are Mary Traver di Domenica, Edna Pierce's mother, with her teacher Ruby Coon at Round Top School. This school became part of the APCSD in 1929.
-- from the Spring 2004 issue of Historical Highlights

Map of the Sand Lake school districts, 1876, created by Valarie Travers.

A much larger version of the above map, created by Valarie Travers for the Averill Park Central School District's 75th anniversary, was on the old Town of Sand Lake web site, but it is not currently available.

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6/22/2004; revised June 25, 2021 -- asm © 2002-2021 Sand Lake Historical Society; all rights reserved.