Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse (1889-1952)
This is a photo of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse as it stands today along Stonewood Road. Following the 1951-1952 school year, it was one of the last five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in Springettsbury Township.
Several years ago, when Nick Kocoronis acquired the property, the building was over grown with vegetation and in need of repairs. Nick did a great job in restoring the schoolhouse to its former grandeur, as is evident in this recent photo.
Students received an education in this schoolhouse from 1889 to 1952. Through, and including the 1945-1946 school year; students, spanning eight grades, were taught in this one-room. During the 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 school years, students, spanning grades 5 to 8, were taught in this schoolhouse. The remaining years, until the school closed in spring of 1952, students in grade 4 and higher were taught in this One-Room Schoolhouse.
The following photo shows the interior of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse in 1949. This photo is from the collections of the York County Heritage Trust; it is part of The Gazette & Daily photo collection held by the Trust. As a schoolhouse, Witmer’s never had electricity and relied upon the coal stove in the middle of the room for heating.
Based upon research at the York County Recorder of Deeds, the School District of Springettsbury Township sold the Witmer Schoolhouse on the original 0.12-acre rectangular-shaped property to Charles H. Heiges and Mary S. Heiges, his wife, on September 6, 1952. The Heiges’ already owned some adjoining land, creating an overall 0.53-acre triangular-shaped schoolhouse property.
Herbert W. Stone planned on purchasing the 0.53-acre schoolhouse property per his April 11, 1957 plan for an adjacent development of Woodstone Court. Had the Heiges’ sold the schoolhouse property to Herbert Stone, the schoolhouse likely would have been torn down to create a half-acre lot for a modern home. Instead, the Heiges’ sold the schoolhouse on the 0.53-acre property to Donald R. Fritz and Kathryn E. Fritz, his wife, on July 11, 1958. Herbert W. Stone’s revised plan for his Woodstone Court development went ahead, without the inclusion of the schoolhouse property.
Donald and Kathryn initially operated businesses in the schoolhouse; Donald, a Copy Shop, and Kathryn, a Dress Shop. From about the early 1970s and onward, the schoolhouse was rented out, primarily as storage space. For many years, Todd Witmer used the schoohouse to store supplies for his ServiceMaster Cleaning business.
Donald R. Fritz died December 25, 2007 and Kathryn E. Fritz died December 15, 2009. Kathryn’s Estate sold the Witmer Schoolhouse on the 0.53-acre triangular-shaped property at auction. The owner of the neighboring property, Nick Kocoronis became next owner of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse on May 14, 2010; and was responsible for restoring the schoolhouse to its former grandeur.
I’m going to check if Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse qualifies to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Look for my post on Friday for additional details about the earliest history of the school.
Continue reading for related posts and a compilation of the teachers that taught at Witmer’s:
I’ve utilized the York County Heritage Trust collection of Directories of the Teachers and School Directors of York County to compile a list of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse teachers. The York County Heritage Trust collection of directories, for York County schools, start with the 1923-24 school year and no directory for the 1931-32 school year is available.
School Year . . . . . Teacher
- 1923-24 . . . . . Florence Landis
- 1924-25 . . . . . Romaine Hibbs
- 1925-26 . . . . . Claude Keller
- 1926-27 . . . . . Naomi Brubaker
- 1927-28 . . . . . Lester Kauffman
- 1928-29 . . . . . Magdalene Bair
- 1929-30 . . . . . Kathryn Gladfelter
- 1930-31 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Ream
- 1932-33 . . . . . Mrs. Maud F. Ream
- 1933-34 . . . . . Mrs. Maud F. Ream
- 1934-35 . . . . . Mrs. Maud F. Ream
- 1935-36 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1936-37 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1937-38 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1938-39 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1939-40 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1940-41 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1941-42 . . . . . Mrs. Mary H. Lloyd
- 1942-43 . . . . . Mrs. Alice Saylor Stine
- 1943-44 . . . . . Mrs. Alice Saylor Stine until her leave of absence; then continued by Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1944-45 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1945-46 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1946-47 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1947-48 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1948-49 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1949-50 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1950-51 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
- 1951-52 . . . . . Mrs. Maud Flory Ream
Related posts include:
- Springettsbury Township closed their last five One-Room Schoolhouses in 1952
- Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse named for Preacher David Witmer
- Witmer’s Shady Dell One-Room School; artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite
- Locations of five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in 1952; and The Avalong Connection
- Stony Brook One-Room Schoolhouse (1913-1952)
- Photo of Students that attended Stony Brook One-Room School in 1949
- Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse (~1860-1952)
- Memories of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse and the Surrounding Area
- Lefever’s One-Room Schoolhouse impacted York Suburban
- Pennsylvania Governor Wolf on the cover of the Directory of the Teachers and School Directors of York County