- Grant Recipient
- 2071 County Highway 26, Fly Creek, NY
- 42.779744, -74.959757
Fly Creek Area Historical Society
SITE OF OTSEGO DISTRICT 12
SCHOOL. EARLY SETTLER JONAH
SPRAGUE DONATED LAND FOR
SCHOOL IN 1862. MERGED INTO
COOPERSTOWN DISTRICT IN 1946.
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2018
One of the first schoolhouses in Otsego County stood nearby, in the hamlet of Fly Creek, outside Cooperstown, NY. Built on land donated by the Sprague family, it was known as District No. 12 School. The school later merged with the Cooperstown District in 1946.
According to History of Otsego County, New York, by Duane Hamilton Hurd in 1878, Jonah Sprague was an early resident of the Town of Otsego. He moved to the area in the 1790s from Rhode Island and served as a member of the New York State militia during the War of 1812. After Jonah’s passing in 1820, he willed that his property be divided equally among his two sons, Jenks and Hezekiah. In 1862, Hezekiah leased some of the land he inherited from his father to the trustees of the local school district. They built the District No. 12 School, also known as Sprague School, on this land. A February 19, 1869 article in The Freeman’s Journal reports that the school hosted 22 students, ranging in age from 5 to 21. It went further to credit Sprague School as being one of the best schools in Otsego, stating that the schoolhouse had “been repaired and is quite comfortable, site fair.”
The September 7, 1945 edition of the Otsego Farmer reveals that at that time, only five children remained students of the Sprague School. As the popularity of motor vehicles continued to grow, so did road conditions. Schools became more centralized and the need for multiple one room schoolhouses diminished. The Sprague School remained operational until 1946, when it was absorbed by Cooperstown Central School (Fly Creeker, Fly Creek Area Historical Society Newsletter, Winter 2000, vol. 12).