Lysander Goes to School: Jacksonville School, District No. 7

Back then, Lamson Road eastbound curved northward toward Jacksonville, and then turned sharply eastward at the little hamlet. As a result, folks traveling east and west between Lysander and Phoenix missed the Grange Hall and the Jacksonville School, because both buildings were located just south of the four corners. But, in 1963 the town of Lysander straightened Lamson Road, putting Grange No. 588 squarely in its path. So, it had to be moved, and the little schoolhouse lost its larger neighbor. The big grange building can still be found one-half mile further south on Fenner Road, where the Lamson Grange will celebrate its 120th anniversary this year. Like our rural school districts, our granges are also disappearing. Fifty years ago, Grange No. 588 had more than 100 members with names like Brown, Chase, Church, Dickinson, Horner, Hubbard, Kozma, Reeves and White. Today, the Lamson Grange still survives, but with far fewer members. So, what ever became of its former neighbor, the Jacksonville School?

Recently, I spoke with Jeanette Brown Horner by phone. She attended the Jacksonville School in grades one through six, from the fall of 1945 through the spring of 1951. Later, I enjoyed coffee with her brother, Ron Brown, at Vicky's in the Fireside Inn, where "Browney" is a regular. He went to the Jacksonville School from first through fourth grades. Then, Baldwinsville centralized when he entered fifth grade.

"So, I went to school in the Odd Fellows Hall on the second floor upstairs over what is now the Mohegan Manor, because there weren't enough rooms in the Elizabeth Street School," he said.

Ron and Jeanette lived in the second house south of the Jacksonville cemetery, the former Whitbeck home. Ron remembers that "there was a trout stream that ran under the road right there, and a blacksmith shop. That's gone now, but the barn is still there."

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