Freysville School alumni keep tradition alive.
There are still a fair number of people around who attended the rural one-room (sometimes two-room) schools that dotted York County until the mid-twentieth century. Ask your parents or grandparents and you might get some interesting tales. (Including how they had to walk five miles through the snow, uphill both ways, to get to school.) Seriously though, walking was the usual transportation and the schools were several miles apart, so students did get some serious exercise. Click the links at the end of this post for some of my previous posts on these country schools.
Former students of some of them, such as the two-room school at Freysville, Windsor Township, have been holding annual reunions to keep up with their childhood friends. This year’s Freysville School reunion will be held at the Equine Meadows Condominium Community Building, 3360 Cape Horn Rd., Red Lion on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Anyone who attended Freysville School is welcome; they and their guests are asked to bring a dish to share. Drinks and setups are provided and registration is from noon to 1 p.m.
This is anticipated to be the last annual Freysville School reunion, but alumni will continue getting together at 9 a.m. on the third Wednesday of even months, starting June 20, 201,8 at Meadow Hill Family Restaurant at Longstown. Questions can be directed to alumni Shirley Paules Zerbe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An account attributed to Lizzie Paules, one of the hundreds of children that attended Freysville School over the years, says that the frame two-room school replaced an overcrowded brick one-room school that could have dated to the 1850s.
Windsor Manor School consolidated the smaller Windsor Township schools when it opened in 1951, but the new building wa not to be large enough to accommodate all eight grades of students from throughout Windsor Township. It was decided to bus seventh and eighth graders to the two-room Freysville School for nearly two years until a Windsor Manor addition was completed. (I was one of those students.)
The Red Lion Area school district deeded the building, said to be built in the latter half of the 19th century, to Windsor Township in 1966. They used it for community activities such as scout meetings and storage. The October 14, 1954 Gazette and Daily announced that the Windsor Township PTA was sponsoring an evening eight-week Ford Foundation adult education class to be held at “the old Freysville school.” The subject was “Great Men and Great Issues.”
After nearly 30 years, the township sold the building, which is now a private residence. At the time of the sale a newspaper article recounted the memories of a former student, Phyllis Stauffer. She remembered the lack of running water, which meant buckets of water were carried for drinking and outhouses had to be visited. Each of the two rooms had a potbellied stove, fueled by coal, which the students helped carry from the cellar. The school yard was “a sea of mud” when the spring thaws and showers arrived. Stauffer remembered the last day of the school year being the best day, since the students got to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.
Former Freysville students are invited to attend the May 20 lunchtime reunion as well as the subsequent bi-monthly breakfasts starting in June.
Click the links for more on York County’s rural schools: