First Log Cabin School District
The First Log Cabin school district is perhaps much more complicated than at first thought. The first schoolhouse of the township of Homer was built in 1789. Also referred to as the "The First Highway School," this old school log cabin school was the first of its kind and became known as the red schoolhouse. This first log cabin school was the beginning of the Homer school district, which was later divided into 8 different schooling districts.
Backstory and Context
In 1789 when the first log cabin school was built it was actually built upon the logs donated by the children's parents who attended the school. The school wanted specifically good beech or maple wood for the building. This first log cabin school was only the start of what would become the first school district of Homer. In March of 1817 the town of Homer had requested a charter to build another school. This charter was denied but 2 years later on February 2, 1819 the charter was indeed obtained. In 1825 the district postponed the building of the new school and had the original schoolhouse repaired for the time being. 3 years later the new schoolhouse was built for $165.00 on the land of Sylvester Alvord. The first teacher of this new school was Sylvester's brother Jeremiah Alvord. Jeremiah's wage for his 4 months of teaching was the total of $23.00 which was accumulated through the community and through the town.
In the following year of 1829 the Town of Homer sent a petition to the state capital of Albany, New York to divide the town. The main reasons for the secession of Homer was in fact that there was just to large of a population to conduct any governmental matters including elections. To many problems had occurred within the population such as the troubles of illegal voters, impossible to keep regular polls with this many people and with the town splitting into 2(East and West Homer) also helped seize the rivalries and jealousies between these two towns. With the spilt of East and West Homer had now created different school districts.
The district divide took effect on April 1, 1826 when District #1 was turned into districts #2 and #8. After the divide the log cabin schoolhouse was then moved from Houghton Hill to Roger Hurlburt's farm. On May 4, 1838 the red-school house was built upon this new founded farm land. The schoolhouse would be used for years to come and had an increase of students from 1863 when the schoolhouse in district #2 was discontinued. The district #2 schoolhouse would be re-erected in the fall of the year of 1886. In 1870 there was a total of 31 pupils attending the red-schoolhouse. 20 years later in 1890 the town of Homer declared that the district #8 red-school house was unfit so a new schoolhouse was built "on the east side of the road just below the bridge"(Harris, District #8). The first teacher of this new schoolhouse was named Mary Flagg Daniels. As the years went on the districts began to come together for the entertainment of the community. The teacher Annie Frisbie of district #8 had connected with districts #3 and #2 to create and plane these entertainments. As the year of 1890 came to an end the pupils who once attended district #8 now began to attend the Homer academy. The red-school house would still teach the kids of district #8 for a couple more years till the school was turned into a residential house with now all the children attending Homer academy.
By: Sully Badger, Brian Dillon, Jacob Travis, & Andrew Minichini
History of Cortland County New York, 1885.
Harris, Curtis . Homer History. Volume 6.
Harris, Curtis. Footsteps and Footnotes about Homer. Volume 3.