Stone Arabia School House open for the season in Cicero

The spring and summer season has begun at the Cicero Historical Society. The Stone Arabia School House, Museum Learning Center and Log House are open each second Sunday from April to September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will not be open on May 8, Mother's Day, but will welcome visitors on May 15 for an open house and perennial plant sale. This new schedule allows us to extend our season, however unlike previous years we will be closed on Saturdays. Visits to the school house can also be made by appointment. Families and history buffs are invited to visit us and learn about the history of education, former businesses and local farming families in Cicero.

Here are excerpts from a history of the Stone Arabia School written in 1984 by former town historian Lona Flynn.

"Descendants of a group of Stone Arabia settlers from Troy, NY, arrived in the town of Cicero in the early 1800s and formed another Stone Arabia community. A stone school house was first built and was located on the southwest corner of Whiting Road and Route 31, and Stone Arabia School District 6 was established. As was the custom, church services were held in the school until a church building could be erected. In 1845 this group organized the Cicero Center Methodist Church. It was decided in 1854 to build a new school. The present Stone Arabia School was constructed and is located halfway between South Bay and Whiting roads on Route 31."

"Our school house is an authentic one room school containing double desks, slate boards, and text books. Typical of that era, it had few windows, a pot bellied stove, a well for drinking water and outside toilet facilities. Light was first provided by candles and then by kerosene lamps. All eight grades were taught with only ten minutes allowed per class. Students learned by listening to the lessons of other grades. The average wage for male teachers in the 1850s was $100 a year and female teachers, although there were few, received less.

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