York Town Square

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Hyson School: One of oldest one-room schools in York County, state?

Doug Winemiller of the Stewartstown, Pa., Historical Society flagged Hyson’s School in East Hopewell Township as a one-room school of particular note. This photo of the Round Hill Church Road School appeared in the first in the series of the society’s Yesteryears publications. Also of interest: Check out these stories and photos about one-room schools.

Doug Winemiller is looking for whatever is available about the Hyson schoolhouse. He provided this background:

“We recently received some genealogical notebooks that indicate the school was built in 1837. The Free Public Education Act was passed in 1834. I think Hopewell Twp. adopted the law in 1836, so it is possible that the school was constructed that early. It is not identified on the 1860 York County map, but we have found other schools that were missed on that map. It is on the 1876 York County Atlas map of Hopewell Twp. A new Hyson School was built across the road from the old school sometime after 189, and is now a house.

“The old school has been used as a house, but has been empty for many years. We contacted Steve Smith to find out if he could give us any information on where to go to find information about records for early schools so we might verify the 1837 date. He told us that he has found no individual listings of schools, just totals per county from that time period. Someone suggested the opening of this school may have been published in the newspapers, but I doubt if individual schools would have been listed.

“All of the students in this picture are deceased, so there is no one to give any information about this building. So far, we have found no one in the Hyson family that can provide any definite information on the date of this building. The author of the genealogy information is deceased, so we cannot verify his date of 1837.

“If the date is correct, this building would have to be one of the oldest one-room schools in the county, and maybe even the state. The lady who owns the building is interested in restoring the building. The walls of this building are very thick–maybe as much as 24” and the size of the building is much smaller than any other one-room school in the area. It is difficult to imagine how all of the students in this picture managed to fit in the building.

“It is the only stone school that exists in the Hopewell Townships–we have found no other photographs of stone schools in these townships. There are several in Fawn Township (Refer to our book).

“It is located less than a mile from my house. I have always wanted to see the interior. Recently, I was able to view the inside of the building when the owner let me in. It is very old! If you look at the background on the right side of the building, you can make out the mill pond for the Hyson Mill (YHT book on Mills). The mill is gone, but remains of the dam can still be seen as well as the mill race. Today, the school is surrounded, almost obscured, by trees, as is the view of the area of the mill pond.

“Do you have any suggestions that would help us date this structure?”

If so, please contact Doug.

One-room schools: Check out the commenting about lists of one-room schools – including one newly found list – on my Facebook page (friend me if you can’t see it!)


Also of interest:

Check out all YorkTownSquare.com photo and stories from the start.