Clio Logo

The Site of the First Schoolhouse was the location of Virgil's first schoolhouse for education. The early American settlers of Virgil saw education as an important aspect of life, and thought it necessary for children to receive some form of teaching in the basic subjects and chores. The First Schoolhouse was erected in 1799, and it's first teacher was a man named Charles Joyce. Joyce's term of teaching did not last long, and the cycle would repeat as a number of teachers were employed by the First Schoolhouse for short periods of time.

When Joseph Chaplin was the first Revolutionary War veteran who came and settled on the land they were awarded, naturally, others followed in his footsteps. Quickly, Virgil changed from a single house settlement for a construction project into a small fledgling community, mostly with early Americans who had, in some capacity, served in the American Revolution. As more and more settlers such as John Gee, John E. Roe, Ezra Rockwell, and others arrived, they saw to it that their children would be able to receive an education in this newly settled community. In 1799, the residents of Virgil got together and erected the First Schoolhouse of Virgil a short distance east from the West-meeting house.

When construction finished, the first teacher assigned to provide an education for the citizens of Virgil was a man by the name of Charles Joyce. Joyce only taught in the First Schoolhouse for roughly two to three weeks. After Joyce, Rebecca Ball taught at the First Schoolhouse for a period of two summers (roughly half a year on aggregate.) After Rebecca left, her sister Abigail Ball was teaching for one term.

After Abigail Ball's term ended, this would mark the end of the First Schoolhouse as a major site of education in early Virgil, NY. The first school near the village was run and taught by Mrs. L. Edwards in her own home. Afterwards, Moses L. Rice taught in what is now known as the Remington House in the winter of 1804-05. The First Schoolhouse was important in a historical context because it showed that even early on in settling this new frontier of central New York, the settlers still saw education as an important part of life.

By: Jonathan Rodriguez, James LaCarruba, & Thomas Barrett

"History of Cortland County, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers: Smith H.P. (Henry Perry), 1839-1925, Ed : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming." Internet Archive. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & co., January 1, 1885. (Photos of sign)

"History of Virgil, NY"