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Page 13 text:
Old Arsenal Today
Brave ghost on top of w1nd swept lull
Your guns long mute your sold1ers st1ll
Ru1ned by fire your strong walls stand
Each stone placed there by careful hand
More than a century has fled
jet planes now thunder overhead
Pay tr1bute that IS st1ll your due
rafters r1ng when we read 1n concert Str1ke t1ll the
last armed foe CXPIICS No scholar w as ever too b1g or
too far advanced to drop ar1thmet1c grammar geog
raphy al erbra rhetor1c or phys1cs We were not al
ways sat1sn1 d wlth th t1me sp nt 11 3I'1fll11'1Ct1C gram
mar or spelllng school IH the evenlng The scholars l1V
mg nearest m1ght brmg candles and IH th1s way lrghted
the room not br1ll1antly but we were contented and
happv and spent many profitable even1ngs th1s way
Parsmg was a necessary study The grammar class
would chose srdes as for a spell1ng match and a con
test wculd last a week All d1sputes were settled by
Wells and Quackenbus Grammar McNally s Geog
raphy was the joy of the scholars but the teacher al
ways susprcrous when we were h1dden beh1nd IIS large
covers How well we remember the sent1mental verses
wl lch were wr1tten on those covers Forget me not For
vet m never T1ll yonder sun shall set forever was a
favorlte verse Yes those were 'happy days A cal1co or
home spun dress took us 1nto the best SOCICIY We wer
all r1ch then r1ch IU copper toed boots and shoes for
wmtcr r1ch 1n health r1ch 1n frrends I'lCl'l 1n hope for
we each had our Castle 1n Spa1n where everyth1ng
grand and beaut1ful aw arted our com1ng Pranc1ng ste
eds l1ver1ed servants costly jewels r1ch apparel honor
tam were ours 1n our Castle 1n Spam And unfor
tunate IS that man or woman who has lost s1ght of those
WHEN THL ARSENAL BURNED
I cr1ed when the Old Arsenal burned What a host
of memorles came rushmg back to me that Sunday
mormng 1n March when the flames l1cked the solrd old
walls I stood 1n a crowd of onlookers helpless to do
anythmg and heard fragments of conversatron bu1lt
1n 1809 redcoats were com1ng th1s way sold at auc
non 1n 1850 a school IH 1861 A school' Who could
forget the long rows of seats the pot bellred stove on
cold morn1ngs the smell of hard maple burn1ng the
llIlClx rough Hoors creaky sta1rs o1l lamps and long
pcnods of rec1t.1t1ons 1n front nf the room? Who could
forget Forrest G1bbons Page Cole Carr1e GlbbOUS
Myrtl Leach Lamb Helena Kelly Florence Shaw Hugh
Kelly Ella Curt1s Maude W1lcox Harvey Pr1ce9 and
A cry went up Ther goes the roof' I cr1ed when the
Ol Arsenal burned because trad1t1on went up 1n flames
OLD ARSBNAL 4SSOCIATION
FEW women former Arsenal students spenclrng a
day tog ther 1n an mformal reun1on at Russell had
the 1nsp1rat1on to urge the organ1zat1on of all who had
t u ht or attended school 1n the old bu1ld1ng Th1s
group organ1zed 1n june 1921 IS known as the Old
Arsenal Teachers and Students ASSOCIHTIOU A con
st1tut1on was drawn up and forty became act1ve charter
FIT mbers w h1l tl11I'ICCfl were HSSOCIZIC members bemg
lusbands w1ves or ch1ldren of those who taught or
attended school rn the Arsenal The follow1ng year
saw attendance membershlp and 1nterest 1ncrease rap
ndly Annual m et1ngs have been held regularly
01d Arsenal Assoclation Meets
A 20 by 30 1nch bronze tablet was placed by th1s
ASSOCIZIIOH on the corner of the Arsenal at the cost
of S119 66 and UHYCllCd June 28 1929 w1th Rlchard
Ellsworth of Canton as speaker The tablet reads
The Old Arsenal
Bunlt by the State of New York 1809
Arsenal unt1l 1851
Russell Vrllage School 1861 1913
Teachers and Students ASSOCIZIIOH
The State of New York
Peace hath her v1ctor1es no less renowned tum
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Yet we who pause to gaze at you in
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Page 12 text:
thrs month War hoxx ever mterfered so serrously xxrth
educatronal constructron and costs rose so raprdly that
rt xx as an rmpossrbrhty for the dreams of the leaders of
the drstrrct to be completed untrl the forces of democracy
had stood strong agarnst those of drctatorshrps brrng
mg a nnal vrctorv rn 1945 Thrs how ever was the same
vear whlch saw the Old Arsenal burnxng on a brrght
Sunda, nornrng rn March and made rt necessary tor
grades to be s t up 11 the town hall and ln the local
In the summer ot 1950 the central chstrrct brought
thc DeC1rasse school all thc facrlrtxes available xxrthrn
1 hmrted budget by adding a room modern plumbing
facrlrtres and fresh sanitary drmkmg water
It was xxrth great prrde that the puprls entered the
new wrng IH Russell September 1951 now to be quarter
ed rn one room as one grade now for the first trme to
have the possrbrhtres of learnrng and exploring all the
material xx hrch should be learned for one grade noxx
for the frrst trme not to be faced wrth a shortage of trme
inadequate facrlrtres and outside toilet rooms
Old Arsenal Used As a School
OLD ARSI:NAL DA1 S
QTIIIS paper read by Mmnre A VanBuren Old
Home Imght rn Russell rn 1915 tells of the Arsenal
HE war ended happrly and the arsenal xx as no longer
needed as a mrlltary station Select school were held
lt xx hxch was attended by our fathers and mothers
but It w as not untrl after the old log school house burn
ed that the arsenal became a hall of learnrng
The loxx er room xx as furmshed wrth wooden bench
es ln the upper were tables deep gashed and carved
wrth rnltlals Erght or ten puprls would srt around a
table rn chairs xx hrch were the personal property of the
scholars Sometrmes when a chalr became weak or
broken an enterprrsrng boy would exchange rt for the
safer one used by the teacher w ho unsuspecting danger
xxould find hrmself on the floor amrd the turns The
rooms were heated by large stoves whrch had a habrt of
smokrng and there were old stove prpes lrable to come
apart or fall down any txme Once upon a trme some
of that stove prpe drsappeared took unto rtself as rt
were xxrngs and flew away That remrnds me of an
other mystery I do not refer to the sllly yarns of the
ghosts amusrng themselves rolhng the cannon balls on
thc thrrd Hloor I refer to a coat a lmen coat that was
xxorn by one of the teachers during school hours and
hung by the chimney when he left the bulldmg That
coat drd serxrce durrng the fall term and at the begrn
mag of the xxmter term xx as ragged and very far from
clean One noon the grrls held a consultation Several
suggestrons were offered and at last rt was decxded that
the coat should be washed 1roned and patched That
night as thc teachers hung rt rn rts accustomed place he
Laxe lt one long lrngerrng lovrng look thrnkmg per
haps that no nore familiar object would ever meet
hrs gaze In the mornlng the hall xx as empty The coat
xx as gonc and nevcr seen aagnn
O1 cold days xx hen the xx 1nd xxould xx hustle through
the many paned xxrndoxxs xxe xxould gathcr round the
stoxc and all went merrrly tnll the teach r xxould say IH
stern toncs It that xx hlsper rs not stopped you wrll all
Wrtlr no fear of bacterra mlcrobes or other germs
the scholar of the old days found therr supreme hap
prness rn passing the water It was a pleasure that never
grcxx old though of darly occurrence and happy was
that chrld who had the prrxrlege of passrng the water to
hrs thrrsty school mates xx ho drank trccly from a tm
cup somctrmcs old and rusty
In thosc days we dld not haxc professors wc had
tcachcrs a man tcachcr rn thc xxrnter and woman
tcacher rn the summer or a man tcacher upstarrs and a
woman tcacher doxx n Each one nearly every term had
us begrn on the hrst page trll the front pages of the
book were xxorn out then of necessrty we had to be
promoted We had no need of a gymnasrum We xxere
resourceful rn Hndrng pleasure and exercrse In the
summer xxe xxould play kc p house over rn the Knox
pasture under the heautrtul trees by the srde of the
brook The shelves rn the rocks held the broken drshcs
and the parlor furnrture xx as upholstered by the softest
'Xt recess xxe xx ould play pom pom pull
1xx ay and hoxx xxc could run never stopprng to puff or
In the fall there xx as alw ays an abundant supply of
from which the chrldren would make
artrstrc baskets and ornaments In the wrnter there were
snow forts coastrng skatmg and slrdrng on the Boyd
Hull on jumpers Then there were the snow burrals A
child would be hurled rn snow the other chrldren per
formrng the funeral servrce whrch was followed by the
rescrrectron If the servrces were too long a vorce would
come from the snoxx grave Hurry up Im smotherrng
or the resurrectron would be premature
Now dont thlnk for one mrnute that rt was all
play and no work rn those good old days Wlmat did xxe
study? Well exery boy and grrl brg or httle read and
spelled a httle every dav and how we would make the
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Page 14 text:
Last Class To Graduate From Old Arsenal
Thls ASSOCIHIIOH now presents a prxze of 35 an
nually to a Hrgh School student who wrrtes the best
essay on local history m connectlon wnth commence
ment ZCIIVIIICS Thus prlze was awarded last june to
OITICCIS are President Tyrus McK1mm FlrstV1ce
Presxdent Foster Moore Secretary Dorls Gates and
Treasurer Bert Shaw
I REME lIBl:R
ES well do I remember that s1zzl1ng day rn the
summer of 1908 when I recexved a letter from my
mother Informing me that Albert Hughes trustee rn
the Hughes Drstrxct wanted to h1re me to teach h1s
school' I was attending summer school 1n Chnton at
the t1me and hke any young prospectlve school marm
I was perfectly thrilled to receive such news He would
pay exght dollars a week why that was money rxght
out of this world'
You can well lmagxne that I wasted no t1me m
w rltmg home Ot course I would be glad to teach the
school' For eu ht dollars a week seemed lxke a fortune to
me just thnnk my entzre salary tor the year would be
3256 as there w ere only 57 weeks of school
As was the custom then our school opened IH Aug
ust The early opening was caused by the fact that
usuallv we had a long enforced vacatlon In February
and March when the weather and roads were bad
The schnol was loacted about two and one halt
mules from the village As I walked I had to leave home
around 15 IH the mormng to arrrve there at 9 O0
oclock The darly sesslon lasted from nme unt1l four
but I usually stayed after school to sweep and txdy up
The room ltself was heated by a box stove Into
whose yaw nmg mouth the cluldren or I It seemed were
forever te dmg the blg chunks whlch were pxled across
one corner of the room smce there was no woodshed
The sn double seats and desks for the puplls faced the
back ot the room while my desk was on a ra1sed plat
form I still retarn vlvrd plctures ot that crude wooden
desk Its cover llfted up and many tlmes when I hur
rledly raxsed lt all my books would be toppled to the
floor wlth a resoundlng bang
In nrce weather we enjoyed the playground out of
doors The favorlte games were Steal Wedges Hrde
and Seek and Tag
Of course hfe was not w lthout nts mental or phys1
cal hazards whrch rn retrospect seem amusmg but at
the moment were extremely real and equally terrlfymg
One such lncxdent occurred one mornmg when I had
just arrlved and was decrdedly upset to hear a pecullar
scratchlng nolse commg from one of the outsnde base
ments Not belng sure whether the cause might be man
or beast I stood for a moment undecided whether to
run msrde and lock the door aaglnst any Intruder or to
brave the unknown drsturber of the mornings peace
Fxnally I summoned all fny courage stepped warlly to
the llttle burldlng and poked a reluctant nose through
the door At last the culprit to my extreme amusement
I saw a large brown porcupme
There were slx chxldren enrolled Eunlce Morrow
the eldest was m the fifth grade the others lncluded
the three Sullxvan chxldren Florence Guy and Ruth
Leon Howland and Mamie Fenton Late ln the fall Mr
Fenton moved hrs famlly to the vxllage where he and
hrs wlfe operated the store which IS now the IGA
store This left me only live puplls Later In the year
Goldre Curtis entered
Wlth so tew puplls there was no competltron and
lnterest lagged Before the year was half done I had
made up my mxnd that thus would be my first and last
year of teachmg' Yes I sand as much to Mr Grbbons
our School Commxssxoner when he was vrsntmg my
school one day He advlsed that I get Into a larger
Teacher and Pupils In Front of Hughes School
For several years I taught rn rural schools whlch
usually had all erght grades In 1919 I came to K M H S
and taught hrst second thlrd and fourth grades untxl
the hrst sn grades were moved to the Old Arsenal after
the dxstrxct w as centralized Wlmen the Arsenal burned
I moved to the Methodrst Church wrth 51 puplls m
three grades Because the room at tne church was not
large enough to accommodate so many another teacher
was lured for thxrd and fourth grades I contmued to
teach the first and second grades here unt1l we moved
mto the annex th1s fall
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