New Hartford Schools
The first school in the New Hartford area was located on Seneca Turnpike at the intersection of route 5 and 5A on the road leading to Clinton. The land was donated by Joshua Palmer, who operated Palmer's Inn that was in the area. The first teacher of record was Samuel Dakin who came from New Hampshire in 1815.
In 1865 a school was located on the village green. The building, an old home, was a plain, wooden two story structure. The children were taught separately; upstairs for the girls and downstairs for the boys. There was one teacher and 40 pupils. In 1869 it was replaced by a new brick building which cost $5,000 and two teachers were employed by the district. This school later became the fire station.
In 1876 there were two private schools - School for Young Ladies and Mrs. James' Boarding School.
In 1884 a large home on Pearl Street, where Allport Place cuts through now to Hartford Terrace, owned by the Chase family, was converted to a school. The first principal of the Pearl Street School was Miss M. L. White. It had four teachers and 160 scholars.
In 1890, Mr. A. M. Scripture was the principal and a professor at the Pearl Street School. He believed New Hartford needed Regents supervision and in 1893 New Hartford became a member of the University of the State of New York. In 1899 New Hartford High School became the first high school in the county chartered by the State.
In 1901 the Golden house on the point of Genesee and Paris Road was torn down and replaced by the Point School. This school had single seats for the students for the first time. There were 10 teachers on the faculty and 150 students. This Romanesque style building still stands in the heart of the village on a site the older people of 1901 referred to as the "Golden Place". The plan for the new school contained cathedral glass transom lights and arched openings over the entrance doors. The outside was composed of red brick trimmed with Indiana limestone and a slate roof. The hallways contained porcelain two-jet sanitary drinking fountains and two large wardrobes for coats that led into a well-proportioned assembly hall. Every room in the building was equipped with electric lights and bells connected to the principal's office. The classrooms contained libraries with easy access to bookcases offering books adapted to each grade level. The plan for the new school was overseen by Principal Scripture, and a Clinton architect, Mr. A. L. Eastingwood. It was noted by "school experts of large experience to be the best found in the villages of the Empire State; and excelled by only a very few of the city buildings, which cost much more."
In 1915 the Sunset Ave school opened as a branch school.
1921 saw an addition built on the west side of the Point School. This had the first school gym in the area.
In 1936 a high school was built on Oxford Road. New Hartford started closing district schools. By 1946 centralization took place and the Union Free Districts were dissolved.
In 1952 an addition was built at the high school utilizing the space where the old burying ground had been since 1788. This addition included an elementary school wing along with a gymnasium, bus garage, separate shop and service buildings. There was much dissatisfaction over digging up of the cemetery in the town. The remains from the graves were put in a large grave in the middle of the front lawn of the school. There is a marker erected over this common grave site.
1958 saw the completion of the Myles Elementary School on Clinton Road; the Elliott R. Hughes school on Higby Road was built in 1960 and in 1964 Ralph Perry Junior High opened on Weston Road.
Since then there have been renovations at all the existing schools. One that expanded the kindergarten wing on Oxford School uncovered more bones from the cemetery. These were re-interred in the Green Lawn Cemetery on Seneca Turnpike.
New Hartford is a community that places great value on education. A strong traditional college preparatory program and dedicated faculty are hallmarks of the schools.
First School in the New Hartford Area
School on the Village Green
Pearl Street School at Allport Place
New Hartford High School