Click here to see a description and the significance of the Lee School taken directly from its nomination form to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
History of the Lee School Building Museum
Currently, the Lee School is only open if you make an appointment with us.
Please call us at
(607) 535-9741 to discuss setting up an appointment. Thank you!
About the Lee School
The Lee Schoolhouse on the Elmira Road, opposite the electric plant, is the pride and joy of the Schuyler County Historical Society. It might be called a “birth gift” as it was presented “no strings attached” to the new Society on June 13, 1960, by members of the school district at its final annual meeting.
The Lee school was a part of the Odessa-Montour School District in the early 20th century. It is an 1884 wooden one-room school house, furnished exactly as it was in the early 20th century.
Before it was the Lee School
A schoolhouse stood on the site before 1829.
"In the autumn of 1829, a new schoolhouse having been built on the site where now stands the Episcopal Church, I was employed to teach school. The pupils had been obligated to go up to the valley to school to what is now known as the Lee district, although there was a small private school before this." quoted by Mary Layton from an article in the Watkins Express by John G. Henry in 1929.
"The first log schoolhouse stood near where the Lee Schoolhouse now stands. The first teacher was Mr. Badger, in about 1812. Then came Dr. Jones who taught school and practiced medicine. At the time Dr. Jones was the teacher, there was but one house between Dr. Jones' and the school that of John McClure at the (Havana) Glen Creek bridge. The rude schoolhouse has a wooden latch... and a stone fireplace for the pupils to dry off their clothing when they arrived at school" quoted from an article by Mary Quick Charles
"Some of the dedicated souls who taught at our oldest one-room schoolhouse at various times include Nellie Lee Durkee, Mrs. Margaret Doty Barrett and Jay Holly. Some of these, of course, taught after the log edifice was replaced by frame. The early teachers recieved $5 per week, and boarded with families of pupils." Mary Layton, The Lee Schoolhouse published in 1964