Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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The following two picture postcards [black and white] relate to Delaware Academy in Delhi. One is of the "old" high school building. It was of wooden construction and was replaced by a newer high school about 1918 [the 1918 era building was replaced by the current Delaware Academy building in the 1940 - 41. The other pix is of a large wooden structure that served as housing for boarding students.

Asphalt [blacktop] roads did not apppear in the hills of Delaware County until after WW1. Rural farm families were essentially isolated during periods of deep snow fall; even worse, in spring time as snow melted , roads became rutted and very muddy. Children of farm families usually attended a local one room school for grades 1 - 8; those children fortunate enough to continue on to the higher grades needed to make arrangements to attend the high school located in the town. Thus, there was need for housing of these high schoolers. Quite logically, the answer was to provide a boarding hall/house. I do not know when the boarding house and the wooden school were built, but they both existed in the pre WW 1 era.

My mother graduated from DA in 1913 and often told stories of her experiences in those times. She was a farm kid from Scotch Mountain. Typically, she drove her horse and buggy to town on Monday, stabled the horse at the livery and spent the week at the boarding school, then drove home on Friday night. The boarding house experience was definitely not all work - the school was coed, with the boys housed on lower floors, and the girls on higher floors. Per my mothers stories, the mandated fire escape with access to all floors, was a favorite route for anyone interested in "mixed" company. The principal and [probably] some faculty lived in the boarding hall and were responsible for disciplinary functions. Food was prepared by live in house keeper - cook staff. Some youth lived at the boarding house all semester - usually because their families lived farther away from the town.

Following her 1913 high school graduation, my mother graduated from business college in Kingston, then returned to Delhi where she married the son of a Terry Clove farmer and spent the rest of her life as a farmer [as well as a farm wife and mother]. She was very much a hands on person regarding all aspects of the dairy farm; the business college education [which was rather rare for a female at that time] was often used in relation to the farm. She was widowed at a relatively early age but continued active day to day responsibility and decision making until well into her 80s! In 1988 on the occasion of her 75th DA Class reunion she was given a corsage by the alumni association. I believe that when she passed away at age 97 in 1992 she was the oldest living DA alumni.

As for these two buildings: both were located on the hill next to Steele Brook [as was the 1918 era school.] The State University at Delhi [formerly known as 'The Ag School'] purchased the entire parcel where these buildings were located. By the late 1940s, probably well into the 1950s, the former boarding hall was used by the college for a variety of functions; the former school building was converted into apartments for college staff. As the college's misson changed and expanded, these buildings no longer served contemporary needs and are no more. -- John W. Jack, January 13, 2009

Old High School Building, Delhi

Delaware Boarding Hall, Delhi

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a service of the Delaware County Historical Association located at 46549 State Highway 10, Delhi, NY 13753

Online since 1996 - created and managed by Joyce Riedinger