Garrison Union Free
A History Primer
Public education in
By 1908, the school had outgrown its 1866 building. The family of the late railroad president Samuel Sloan, wanted: “a school…which by its improved furnishings and appointments will afford better facilities and advantages to aid in carrying out the plan of education therein contemplated to be given to the children of said District…” and gave the District a piece of land of approximately four acres in exchange for $1. The building that is the heart of the current school was constructed thereon of local stone in 1909. Garrison families contributed funds for furnishings.
The land given by the Sloan
family for the school had been purchased by Sloan in 1882 from Judge John
Garrison, for whom Garrison’s Landing was named in 1847. Garrison’s sons,
William and George, built and ran the Highland House hotel on the property next
to the school. This property, 100 years later, was given by William H. Osborn
John Garrison’s father, Harry,
had originally moved to Garrison in 1785, when he married Jane Nelson, the
daughter of Joshua Nelson and the granddaughter of Jacob Mandeville. In 1803,
Harry Garrison bought 125 acres from Cornelius Nelson. The Garrisons were
descended from Gerret Gerretson,
who came to
Before railroads and, later, roads and highways, each one-room schoolhouse and its neighboring families (most within walking distance) constituted a separate school district. In 1853, the State authorized the creation of “union free” districts, formed from the merger of smaller, “common” school districts. In 1870, there were over 11,300 school districts in the state; that number has steadily decreased to 704 today. A 1947 Master Plan encouraged small district consolidation (technically known as reorganization). Small neighboring school districts mutually agreed to merge together, usually in order to support a high school. Small school districts, which essentially represented neighborhoods, merged because of commonly held educational goals and similar tax bases, and without particular regard for town political boundaries.
Today, children living in Philipstown attend school in the Haldane,
The original 1909 building continues to be the heart of the School. It was added on to in the 1950s and 1960s. In October 2002, the District celebrated the opening of a new addition, the first in 35 years, that added a new gym, computer lab, and eight classrooms that form a separate middle school wing.
In addition to the main 9 acre campus, the District also
owns the 4.5 acre playing field located across Route 9D and a 181 acre School
Member, Board of Education