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2020 Photo of Center Square Schoolhouse; which was last used for educating Manchester Township children in 1921

ZOOM Presentation explores One-Room Schools

The reason for the1921 closing of Center Square Schoolhouse in Manchester Township had an impact on the closing of nearly 100 York County one-room schools prior to School District consolidation. This is how the Center Square building appears today, 99-years later; one of the few former one-room schoolhouses, still standing, that was never converted for a business or a residence.

Manchester Township Historical Society has organized an online video presentation, via ZOOM Meetings, of my talk “Early Manchester Township Schools,” after an in-person meeting was canceled due to COVID-19.

The ZOOM Presentation is scheduled Monday June 1st, 2020, at 7:00 pm

Please enter your name and e-mail in the Online registration form if you are interested in attending this virtual presentation. Please use this link for the registration form:

Prior to the presentation time, Manchester Township Historical Society will email you the ZOOM meeting invite link.

This talk will feature Early Manchester Township Schools, although it also includes other York County schoolhouses; used to make relevant points. You will also experience what it was like to attend One-Room Schools in York County; through stories of teachers and students attending them.

1953 Photo of Center Square Schoolhouse, which was last used for educating Manchester Township children in 1921 (Source: Manchester Township Historical Society)

A nice collection of early common school records and articles is housed in Penn State’s Pattee Library; where I spent several days researching last fall. The Annual Reports of The Superintendent of Common Schools of Pennsylvania provides details gathered from each county in the state. When combined with other information in articles, and dissertations at the library, some neat early school history is revealed. Including, understanding why Center Square One-Room Schoolhouse ceased being used for schooling purposes in 1921.

Part of the reason for the 1921 closure has to do with the relatively close proximity of Center Square Schoolhouse to Emigsville, via Sinking Springs Lane. Note it is only a recent change that Sinking Springs Lane is no longer a through road across the Susquehanna Trail. All the details surrounding 1921 closure will be explained in the presentation.

Location of Center Square Schoolhouse, at northeast corner of Church Road and Sinking Springs Lane, near Emigsville Exit of I-83 (2003 State Aerial Photo; Annotated by S.H. Smith, 2020)

At the time of the 1876 Beach Nichols Atlas of York County, seven schoolhouses are within the bounds, of present Manchester Township. Six of the seven are also on Shearer’s 1860 Map; the exception is Springdale School in the south-central part of the township.

Locations of One-Room Schoolhouses in Manchester Township, during 1876; highlighted on section of Beach Nichols 1876 Atlas of York County, PA (Annotated by S.H. Smith, 2020)

The general rule used by School Directors was to place One Room-Schools, scattered around the township, so no student had to walk more than one and one-half mile between their home and school. It is interesting to note the sites of five of these schools operated out of one, or more, other buildings, prior to their brick one-room schoolhouse counterparts were constructed in Manchester Township between the 1880s and1904: i.e. Hake’s, Eisenhart’s, Foust’s, Springdale and Lightner’s

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos in this post.

Use the following links as a location and source index for pre-1950 York County schools. The vast majority of these schools are One-Room Schoolhouses:

York County One-Room Schools (A-B)
York County One-Room Schools (C-D)
York County One-Room Schools (E-G)
York County One-Room Schools (H-K)
York County One-Room Schools (L-M)
York County One-Room Schools (N-P)
York County One-Room Schools (Q-R)
York County One-Room Schools (S-T)
York County One-Room Schools (U-Z)

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts