The McKownville schoolhouse, seen from Schoolhouse Road near the
junction with Western Avenue, photo taken 1961.
[from W. Mohr archive held by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve;
contributed by Steve Rider]
(the caption below is edited from an article in the Turnpike Record,
21 April 1973)
Built originally as a one-room school, on a 1 acre lot sold on 3rd July
1877 for $250 to School District No. 11 by William J and Lydia
McKown. In the 1890's or early 1900's a wing was added (largely
hidden in the picture). From the early 1900's until the school was
closed with consolidation into the Guilderland Central School
District in 1953, it was distinctive in being always painted yellow.
Picture of the Mckownville Schoolhouse c.
1910, with teachers, students, and visitors; graduation?
Sold at auction in 1956, the building, repainted red, became the
John G Myer's Little Red Schoolhouse store, and later a beauty
salon, and then in the early 1960's it became unused. In 1966 the
Mckownville Fire Department attempted to buy it for an enlarged fire
station, but the property owners asking price was prohibitive;
requests by local residents for it to be converted to other
community uses were similarly rebuffed. Attempts by the owner to
have the property rezoned for a gas station in 1972 were turned
down, and the owner then applied for a demolition permit.
McKownville residents and Town officials attempted to find money and
a site for its removal. One arson attempt in February 1973 was
thwarted by swift response by the McKownville Fire Department. On 29
March 1973, the owner again applied for a demolition permit, again
was denied, with 30 days given to allow the building to be moved. At
4am on 31 March 1973, the building was found burning again, but this
time the fire was already intense and the local Fire Departments
were unable to prevent very substantial damage to the structure. It
was demolished soon after. The site is now occupied by a bank
building and its parking lot.
return to McKownville
older buildings photo index page
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