Number Six School, Croghan District 6, Also called the "Rock Bound School"
The last schoolhouse of District No. 6, town of Croghan, was located on the Old State road at the point where the paved portion of this road now ends [or did in 1959]. After crossing a long flat, the road enters a cleft in the rocks. At the base of these rocks, a dead-end road turns to the north, and a paved crossroad turns south. Perched on the north side of the road, barely beyond these intersection, was the Number Six school. The building was set on a shelf of rock scarcely large enough to hold it, with a cliff rising on one side and a drop-off of 10 feet on the other. From its vantage point, looking west, is obtained a commanding view of Croghan farming country.
This was not the first Number Six school, and the school site itself is of recent origin, compared with the age of the other sites. District No. 6 was established May 10, 1851. Its territory was taken from Districts 16, 4 and 7, as they were then numbered. On April 2, 1877, the whole of the eastern portion of District 6 was separated and formed into a new district to be known as No. 19. A schoolhouse was then erected behind the home of William Sheldon.
The life span of No. 19 was 24 years, at the end of which, in 1901. It was divided among the adjoining districts. Number 19 was dissolved and the western portion was given back to District 6, the eastern portion to District No. 4, with Swiss creek as the dividing line. The reorganized District 6 was directed to erect a new school building, for a cost not to exceed $500.
Apparently the schoolhouse of No. 19 was moved from its location on the Sheldon farm and set on a new foundation at the site first described in this article. About this time, or very soon after, the old schoolhouse of District 6 burned. This was said to be the second fire on the old site, a former building having burned some 20 years before. District No. 6 seems to be harassed by fire, for in 1938 the No. 6 school burned for the third time and never opened again. The district received $700 insurance and placed it in the bank. the No. 6 school was in operation for 87 years, for three years in the 1930s when the pupils were transported.
Lizzie Branagan, Nellie Cruikshank, Nora VanDuzee and Kate Murray were known to have taught in the No. 6 school before 1900. Among those who taught prior to 1913 were Anna Strife, Celia Hoch, Belle Shay, Lena Belcher, Agnes Shay, Hazel Ramsay, Amelia Pate and Vera Honer.
The roll of teachers beginning in 1913 was as follows: 1913-15, Alice M. Filer; 1915-17, Walter H. Noblet; 1917-18, Mrs. Kathleen Connelly; 1918-19, Mrs. Marie B. Bintz; 1919-20, Ceolia F. Walsemann; 1921-22, Grace S. Bintz; 1923-24, Ceolia Walsemann; 1924-25, Mable Waggoner; 1925-28, Anna Sweeney. 1928-30, Kathleen Connelly; 1930-31, Mrs. Minnie Rounds; 1934-35, Mrs. Rose M. Smith; 1935-36, Mrs. Minnie Rounds; 1936-37, Gabrielle Simonin; 1937-38, Gabrielle Simonin and Mrs. Claude Gill.
When District No. 6 passed out of existence July 1, 1954, the town of Croghan was without this district for the first time in 103 years. The district survived division and fire, but it was powerless to fight alone the rising cost of education, or to meet the ever higher standards demanded of the state.
At the cleft in the rocks, a fire-scarred wall shows where the last building was situated.
note: The last officers of District were Floyd Branagan, trustee; Mrs. Branagan, clerk; and Milton Walsemann, collector. Members of the Branagan family were included among the taxpayers from first to last; the Branagan homestead is located near both sites of the No. 6 school.
CRT, April 2, 1959
Location of Rockbound School February 2004