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Additional information about early education

The last Pittsford article about schools gave information on Districts 3, 4, 5 & 6. This additional material is about Districts 7, 8 & 9.

Some of Pittsford's early districts were razed either for housing developments or just because they were too deteriorated to restore.

District # 7 was in the path of the New York State Thruway, so it had to be removed. It was located on land given by Andrew Maxfield who lived at 3488 Clover Street and instructed children who lived south of the line which was served by District #6.

Barnett and Hannah Maxfield were parents of Andrew who was born in Herkimer County in 1811. Andrew and his parents came to Pittsford in 1818 and a farm of 82 acres was established at 3458 Clover Street. Andrew, when he came of age, purchased a farm of 85 acres almost across the road from his parents at 3488 Clover Street. Both of those farm homes remain.

Barnett and Hannah had eight children. Two of the daughters married Thornells and lived on Thornell Road. Andrew married Sarah Powell, farmed his acreage and because they had 4 children who needed schooling closer to home, he deeded 1 acre of his land on the northwest corner of Reeves Road and Clover Street to the Trustees of District #7 on which a schoolhouse was built. There are no photos of this building, but I believe it was a brick structure and probably closely resembled the building on Thornell Road and East Street.

District # 8 was located near the corner of Mendon Center Road and Wilmarth Road. The first building was "near the big elm tree" close to the road. Mrs. Startup, a former teacher in that district, said that her father, John Hinderland, deeded a piece of land on which the present building sits and a frame building was constructed. That frame building, greatly remodeled into a single family dwelling, was constructed in 1880. Early maps show a schoolhouse in this location in 1858. The address is 506 Mendon Center Road.

The present owners purchased the schoolhouse from the Pittsford Central School District in 1946 when the centralization took place. They added a family room, garage, new windows and made it into the very pleasant dwelling it is today.

District # 9 was renumbered from District 13. It is located on the northwest side of Marsh Road. It is a single family home but retains the style and design of the original schoolhouse. The deed is dated 1853 and the Grantor was John Cole and his wife Sarah. Trustees of that District were Thomas Cullen, T. Brizee, W. Campbell. The brick and stone school was built in 1856. Historical records show that the teacher was paid $10.00 per week for the winter session.

Paul Knickerbocker, whose grandfather, father, and uncle all attended that district has shed some personal information on District #9. The Knickerbockers lived in the large farm at the top of Knickerbocker Hill. Harlan, Paul's father and Whitney, his uncle, drove a pony and cart down the hill, across the bridge that once spanned the canal near where the drop gates are today, The pony was stabled in Mr. Cullen's barn that was located on Marsh Road near where the church of the Latter Day Saints is today. Mrs. Cullen was a teacher in that school and one winter she became extremely ill. Mr. James Monroe Knickerbocker, who chaired the Trustees at that time, closed school until the teacher was well enough for school to resume. New York State did not regulate the districts at that time and there were no minimum days required of the students. There was no state aid, either! Parents who paid a set fee for their children to attend funded all of these districts. Most of the districts operated on three terms, which revolved around the farming season - planting, tending, and harvesting.

All of the Districts were centralized into one Pittsford Central School District in 1946 and so ends the brief history of the District schools in the community of Pittsford.