History of the Cobblestone Schoolhouse

HISTORY OF THE COBBLESTONE SCHOOLHOUSE

 

In 1843, the cobblestone schoolhouse was dedicated under the direction of the Commissioners of Common Schools, Zenas Smith and Orson Tullar, along with the Supervisor of the Town of Riga, Aretus Adams.  For over half of a century, this one room schoolhouse served the educational and social needs of the Churchville community.  The school began with three teachers and students that were not divided into grade levels.  Promotion was based on age rather than academic achievements.  Years later in 1889, a high school curriculum was added and the first high school class of eleven students graduated.

During the year 1896, the cobblestone schoolhouse was replaced by a new multi-room classical school building, constructed just down the street.  In that same year, the cobblestone building was purchased and remodeled by five local businessmen and turned into an assembly hall.  Now newly renovated, the hall provided a location to put on plays and other social activities for the village.  It had a 500 person seating capacity, ticket office and cloak room, a stage with changing rooms, a dining hall and kitchen.  This assembly hall served the community until 1912 when an organization called the Riga Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, No. 168 purchased the building.  The Riga Grange was formed as a fraternal organization to promote the cause of the local farmers through service and education.  The cobblestone building not only served the needs of the Riga Grange but also provided use as a gymnasium for the local school, served as a movie theater, and a place to host social events and theater productions.  By 1963, the Riga Grange sold the building to the Methodist Church of Churchville.  Under the Methodist Church, the cobblestone building served as a church annex and youth center until 1994 when it was sold to the Town of Riga.

From schoolhouse, to assembly hall, to Grange hall, to church annex – this beautiful cobblestone will now live on as the “Ray Adams Cobblestone Hall.”