|South Milltown School Survey; by John A. Schwartz|
Results and Discussion
The school was originally built in 1899-1900 and was known as Milltown District No.3. The building was changed several times. One early change consisted of closing off three windows on the north side and adding them to the south side (making six windows on the south side.) This was to comply with a new lighting regulation insisting that light must come over the left shoulder or from the back of the room. Another change was that a basement was dug and a furnace installed (coal, later converted to fuel oil.) An entrance was added to the front of the school allowing an inside access to the basement. Water was pumped by hand and carried into the school. The toilets were (and still are) outside.
The school was in continuous operation from 1900 to 1957 with grades first to eighth. When it was integrated into the Milltown School District, the grades were reduced to first to sixth. At the end of the 1958-1959 year it was closed.
The South Milltown School was sold to the South Milltown 4-H club in 1961. The 4-H meetings had been held at the school since the club was started in the mid 1930s. The meetings continued to be held there year-round until the mid 1970s. As the furnace was no longer reliable, the winter meetings were held at other places (members homes, etc.)
Warm weather meetings continued to be held at the school.
The renovation project officially began in the fall of 1998 with the planning of renovation fundraising projects. A school reunion was held in the fall of 2000 to announce the plans to the community and to seek support. The results were very positive.
The basement was replaced in the fall of 2001. A new hi-efficiency furnace was installed and the electrical main was updated. In the late spring of 2002, the front doors were replaced with replicas of the old ones.
The next high priority item is to replace the windows with replicas of the originals. The south wall (load bearing) was not repaired properly when the original windows were replaced with smaller ones. This has resulted in the wall bowing outwards several inches and will require extensive work to repair.
The 4-H club has been using several means of raising funds including raffles, garage sales (donated items), as well as contributions and volunteer work from the community members.