This is the earliest known photo
of the school and dates at about 1897. A flag was given
to the school by a Titusville group in 1896 and the flag pole
was probably put up at that time. Note the horse shed at
the back left behind the school house.
This early photo probably dates from about
1900. Note that a window has been added on the west wall
towards the back of the school house.
This photo from around 1900 shows the school
in the context of Pleasant Valley Road. Note the narrow,
dirt road and post and rail fence across the road from the school
This is a close-up of the school house from
the previous photo. Note the fence, turnstile gate, and
flowers bordering the school house lot. There are several
references to efforts to beautify the school grounds with planting
of trees and flowers in the early 1900s. Also, note the
window pattern on the east wall that matches the front window
In 1917 an addition was built that enlarged
the school house to the back and east side. Note also the
parked horse drawn "school bus" on the right.
This photo shows the west side of the school
house after the addition in 1917. Note the horse shed behind
the school and the teeter toters in the play yard. The
play yard is essentially on the site of the early family graveyard
of the John Phillips family that dates back to the late 1700s. Some
of the tombstones can still be seen today.
The 1917 addition and the horse shed can
be seen in this photo of the horse drawn school bus, driver,
and children. The bus was used primarily to bring students
from the Mount Range district of Hunterdon County down Hunter
Road to the school in the 1920s.
The school closed in 1935 and in 1938 Franklyn
Wooden purchased the building from Hopewell Township and converted
it into his family home by removing the front part of the original
school house and changing the interior arrangement of spaces. A
fireplace and front porch were also added.
Today the building awaits restoration
to its function as a school house that can be used to teach today's
children about the school experience of their great-grandparents
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The school house is a feature of Howell Farm's
annual horse drawn wagon tours of the Pleasant Valley Rural Historic
District. Behind the school house can be seen the buildings
erected by Franklyn Wooden as part of his chicken and egg production
business. Some of the wood for these buidings came from the old
horse shed and the front part of the original school house.