York Town Square

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Fissel’s School: How students learned a lot in one room

Paul Kuehnel - Daily Record/Sunday News
This photo is part of the York Daily Record’s coverage of the open house at Fissel’s School in southern York County, Pa., last weekend. You can find additional coverage of  the one-room school, including a video and photographs at: Vintage Fissel’s School. To learn about the school’s past, see: 1896-vintage Fissel’s one-room school helps illustrate past and present.

The Fissel’s School open house drew about 300 people, including 25 who returned to the well-preserved one-room school they attended as youngsters.

“Local resident Clair Amspacher who is ninety years of age, was brought by his daughter and reminisced about his time at Fissel’s from 1933 – 1939, as did many others,” historian John ‘Otts’ Hufnagel wrote.

You’ve seen the YDR’s extensive coverage of the open house.

Here are three photos courtesy of sponsor Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society, with information and commentary courtesy of  John Hufnagel:


This back-to-front view looks towards the dunce seat, 48-star flag and teachers desk. Hufnagel: ‘The speakers played to a standing room only crowd as Wayne McCullough discussed the steps taken to get the building onto the National Historic Register, followed by Dale Benshoof who talked about the challenges that he and Irvin Rappoldt had to face in order to save the structure from further ruins… .’ 


This front-to-back view shows a silver heating unit from the early 1940s. It replaced the pot belly stove. About this same time, the building received electrical service. Hufnagel also spoke about the history of the school. The last day of school was Feb. 13, 1952 … at least for formal teaching.


 The chalk board in the back of the room bears the date Oct. 5, 1975. This was the date of an open house to observe the project to restore the school. Hufnagel:  ‘The names are of people who attended Fissel’s for the open house and also went to school there. Note Clinton Dubbs who attended 1897 – 1903 and 3 names below him is Charlot (Charlotte) Seitz who was a student and later a teacher at Fissel’s and the daughter of Roland F. Seitz famed composer who also attended Fissel’s.’

Also of interest: The open house raised funds for  the Southern York School District to maintain the building, on the grounds of Susquehannock High School. “We look forward to working with the School District in 2015 to have another reunion for former attendees and to give the public a chance to see what school was like in days gone by,” Hufnagel wrote.

Learning about the past: This post appeared on the YDR Facebook page, giving an indication that the old school is still in the education business. Feel free to click on the links to comment or like.