The former Essex High School in Essex, NY stands hidden behind trees on the edge of the main village on School Street. This was the last school that operated in the town.
This square, brick school was built in 1908. This new school replaced the Union School situated in the center of town. Union School had been in use for less than 50 years; however, new heating, teaching theories/methods, and other philosophies and technologies evolved that made the town of Essex feel that a new school building was needed.
Despite its name it served both elementary and high school students. According to Essex Town Historian Shirley LaForest the high school part of the school closed in 1950, but the complete closing of this school occurred in 1966.
Today, most children of Essex attend schools in either Willsboro or Westport.
Two first-floor windows on the front facade are unique in that they are rounded and decorated with an arched stonework design above the windows. The other windows on the school are squarely or rectangularly-shaped.
The square cupola rests centrally atop the roof next to a single chimney. Perhaps this cupola contained the school bell? If it once did, does anyone know if it remains today?
The school is constructed mainly of brick, although there is some stonework, including the foundation which was cut from local limestone.
If you attended this school, have photos you’d like to share, or know anything else about the school feel free to share any memories in the comments below or contact us!
Additional Resources for Essex High School
This map (with satellite image overlay) will help you locate the Essex High School and see how its location relates to other historic buildings in the historic district.
View Discover Essex on Lake Champlain in a larger map
References for Essex High School
Belden Noble Memorial Library. Essex, New York: An Early History. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 2003. Print.
“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” Essex Community Heritage Organization, 1986.
Hislop, David C., Jr. Essex on Lake Champlain. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009. Print. Images of America.
- Union School (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Stereoview: Wilder House (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Merchant Row Mansions in Essex, NY (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- 1954 LCT Ferry Brochure (essexonlakechamplain.com)