OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
King Ferry Schoolhouse Museum–Genoa Historical Association
King Ferry, NY 13081
One-room schoolhouses served the rural communities of New York State for approximately one hundred fifty years, giving way in the early 1900’s to larger central schools. Research suggests that the Franklin District #12 schoolhouse was built in the early 1840’s and originally located in the town of Ledyard at the corner of Route 90 and Rafferty Rd. About 1870 the town relocated the school to a half acre of land a bit south of the original site. The building has a long and colorful story. When the school year ended in 1931, the era of this one-room school came to a close. It served as a school for its first 50 years. When that era ended, it became the site of illegal gamecock fights; during World War II, it served as a field kitchen. Subsequent years saw the building fall into disuse and become a deteriorating structure suitable only as winter shelter for wildlife. In 1980, the King Ferry schoolhouse was home to a family of raccoons. In 1987, it got a second chance at life when it was donated by the Close to the newly established Genoa Historical Association. The following year a group of volunteers moved the building to its current location in the hamlet of King Ferry. They repaired and restored it. In 1989, the building was dedicated to the teachers and students who attended one-room schools in rural America.
Today, the building, now cared for by the Genoa Historical Association, is known as the Schoolhouse Museum, and provides visitors a look back at the changes over time in rural community life. It serves the community as a local history museum, where volunteers help with genealogy research, offer individual, school and group tours, host history programs, plus organize displays of changes in agriculture, education, and rural life. The schoolhouse is a hands-on museum where visitors can sit at the old desks, write on slates, practice penmanship with pen and ink, read the schoolbooks of long ago and visualize life in a one room school. Groups of school children regularly tour the Schoolhouse Museum, and the museum is open year-round on weekdays, except Tuesdays. Special weekend events take place regularly throughout April to October.