Summer is finally here, and graduations are abundant. I got to thinking, how about looking back a bit, well maybe more than a bit, and check out the class of the Leptondale School in 1927. Oh yeah! They were all together in that two room school house on Quaker Street, all 30 of them!
Now that being said, I have to admit, when I started school, going there was an option! My Mom won out over my Dad and I attended Ostrander Elementary School in Wallkill. By the time I began fourth grade, the present Leptondale School had been built. A few years back, I attended the opening of the time capsule from the grand opening and was able to read what I had written back then. I’m sure a few of you took some time and went over and saw all the items on display.
The Town of Newburgh had a number of one room and two room school houses. There was one on Rock Cut Road, near the intersection with East Rock Cut road, for example. It was abandoned and forlorn when I was a child. Eventually it was torn down. A few of you may remember it, or perhaps your mothers and fathers went to school there. I hope to have a list of those who attend there available in the future.
Many of these small, local school houses gave way to the larger school districts and were either left empty, or repurposed into homes. I recently heard from a gentlemen who attended the Balmville School, enlightening me about its history and some research which has been done. He intimated he would love to see it restored and repurposed. His enthusiasm left me looking for a copy of a fairly recent detailed history on it to improve my knowledge.
Now, back to the Leptondale School House. It was great! I attended a number of events there, with one Halloween Party being memorable. Somewhere there is a photo of the entire ensemble in costume. Even the adults dressed up! I can remember bobbing for apples in a steel tub, with two or three of us gathered around it, on our knees. I guess by today’s standards, it wasn’t the most sanitary, but it was fantastic fun!
Today, the structure has been remodeled and turned into a beautiful home. I wonder if the current owners hear the sounds of laughter at times, echoing the fun all the children had going there through the years.
Now for the hard part of this week’s article. A quiz! Yes, a quiz! Here is a photo of the thirty students attending the school in 1927. I have the names, except for one. I’m offering lunch on me for anyone who can successfully name at least half the class. Your choice of restaurants, and the first one to contact me with the names wins. No do overs, no second places, just some good old detective work into who was who back then. If no one wins, I will publish the names next week regardless. Maybe you’ll recognize a family member!