York Town Square

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York County one-room schools: ‘That’s when things were good’

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This one-room school stood at the corner of Springwood and Camp Betty Washington roads until it was demolished to make way for a highway improvement project this week. At one time, York County played host to about 300 one-room schools, tops in Pennsylvania. See photograph of demolished school below..
Sixteen one-room schools operated in York Township before post-World War II consolidation spelled their demise.
Many became private residences or businesses after that. Now, one such former private residence is no more.
The Ore Valley School, forerunner to the mammoth Ore Valley Elementary School, was torn down this week to make way for improvements to a treacherous intersection.
A York Daily Record story quotes former student Karl Schaefer: …

“That’s when things were good,” he said.
It might have seemed that way at the time, but the prevalance of such schools pulled down York County’s high school graduation rate. Even today, about 20 percent of York County’s population never graduated from high school.
For a good sense at how such one-room schools used to look, travel a valley south and see the Raab School near Raab Fruit Farms.
This is all that remained of the old Ore Valley school in York Township. The construction worker, Tom Trout, grew up a half-mile away from the school. He felt bittersweet about the demolition. ‘It’s kind of sad to see it go, but you can’t stand in the way of progress,’ he said. See history section on one-room schools.