- Grant Recipient
- 699 Old Liberty Rd, Monticello, NY 12701, USA
- 41.7014, -74.69976
Town of Thompson
Before education was mandatory in New York State, many counties and churches built school houses for primary education. The passage of the “Act to secure to children the benefits of elementary education” on May 11, 1874, required parents to enroll any children under the age of 14 in primary education under penalty of fines and possible loss of custody if they consistently refused to comply with the law. The act also prohibited the employment of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years old during any school hours. (Laws of the State of New York, 1874) This further spurred the construction of many schools. But due to the lack of infrastructure and the more basic curriculums of the time, schools did not start off as the centralized K-12 school districts we know today. Instead, one room schools with a single teacher instructing a mixed-age group of students were the norm. Sullivan County constructed a number of one room school houses beginning in the mid-19th century into the early 20th century, and in 1900 the county was one of the few in New York State that received more money from the state government for education, $24,430, than it paid towards the state. (Sullivan County Record, 1900) Most of these schools closed in the 1940s or ‘50s as modern school districts were consolidated.
The original lease of this one room school house dates back to 1842, when the trustees of School District #10 of Thompson, NY paid a nominal one dollar for the rights to the property for use as a school. The school district later purchased surrounding land from private owners for $60 to extend the schoolhouse lot to 50 feet, according to a Sullivan County deed in 1915. The school was located next to the road which ran between Monticello and Liberty, hence its name, Old Liberty Road.
According to a former student who attended the school from 1935 to 1941, the last teacher was Florence Wood Carroll, and the school closed in June of 1941.