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School Days

A few years ago we wrote a two-part article on the history  of the Ticonderoga Schools as recorded by George Burroughs.  Both of those articles were well received.  For nearly 225 years there has been some form of organized education in the Town of Ticonderoga.  That is a long timeline!   As the new school year is about one month into its first term we thought our readers would enjoy seeing some “snapshots”  from that timeline.  We offer a few of the donated items received in recent months along with material from our archival collections.

In our 2nd floor exhibit room here at the Hancock House there is a school exhibit.  In one of the display cabinets is a page copied from the Diary of  John Hetherington, Ticonderoga’s first school teacher.  It shows a list of students and the amount of wood required  from each student as part of a fee for attendance.  Below  we add a few more pages from that journal.

(Mr. Hetherington was originally hired to be a lay preacher for the area Episcopalians.  Because of his education he was also hired to be a teacher.  He was not here long.  An early map of the Lower Falls area shows that school house to be in the vicinity of today’s location of the Cornerstone Alliance Meeting House which  is located on the eastern side of the old Wood Lot used by the  paper mills that were once  located along the LaChute River at that place.)

168 years later ~ June 1960  exactly, four veteran teachers retired from the Ticonderoga Schools with a combined record of nearly two centuries of dedicated service to our town.   Can you named them? (Gift of William Bolton)

Flavius (Joseph) J. Cook in his “Home Sketches” writes that “the first school houses, built between 1790 and 1800, were warmed by large open fireplaces.”  As he wrote in 1857 ~~ “children of the present generation would be somewhat startled to be sent to school in the morning with a large dog to keep off the bears, to study all day by the crackle of great back-stacks and fore-sticks and the nibbling of snow against the narrow window-panes, to hear the howling of wolves as the mistress called the roll at dusk, and to see her take down a heavy rifle or old musket, perched all day above the door, to guard the way home.

Adirondack Black Bear

Adirondack Black Bear