York Town Square

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Part II: York County one-room schools a graduate thesis waiting to happen

This portion of a topographical map from 1910 identifies Brenneman’s School in Lower Windsor Township. It is located northeast of Yorkana. The map shows Brenneman’s stood – and still stands today as a former one-room school, in Lower Windsor Township, not Hellam Township as some have believed. Also of interest: Tiny Yorkana sits near everything.

Tireless York County researcher Doug Winemiller has suggested a way to locate at least some of the 300 or so one-room schools that dotted the York County countryside 70 years ago.

“Many of the schools can be found in the 1876 Atlas of York County,” he wrote. “If you are familiar with this book, the school locations are on the map, but they are not named.”

He also attached a copy of a 1910 topographical map in which the schools then built are named. Brenneman’s School, the school that started the discussion of the location of the county’s one-room schools, is spelled out on the map.

He explained that the 1910 map can be viewed on My Topo  site.

When the Stewartstown Historical Society published its first “Yesteryears” book, the group’s goals was to gather photos of all one-room schools in North Hopewell, East Hopewell, Hopewell, and Fawn Townships.

“We managed to get all of Hopewell and East Hopewell, but we are still missing a few in Fawn and North Hopewell Twps. Kathryn Jordan was a big help – she taught at Miller’s School in North Hopewell and knew the names of almost all of the one room schools in this area.

“The 1876 maps, from the atlas, only shows the location, but no names. There are some schools identified on that map that no one knew existed. We have been unable to find much information, names, etc., of these schools. Kathryn has an original copy of this book. We scanned the map of Hopewell so we could enlarge it to better read the labels.”

So, there are some leads for a persevering researcher who might find the quest for all one-room schools in the York County a worth research projects – maybe even a master’s thesis.

Are there any other repositories or sources for one room school information to share? Please comment below or email me at jem@ydr.com.

Also of interest:

– Check out the book “All in One Room” about York County’s one-room schools.

– See a ydr.com section One-Room Schoolhouses devoted to such schools in York County.