Mayfield through the years
Schools are about much more than their buildings. They are at the heart of the community's life and history. Mayfield's rich heritage has been largely attributed to the growth of the glove industry and its schools.
One of the first schools in the Mayfield area was built in Woods Hollow.
No records remain of the small log structure, but it’s known to have been replaced by a wood frame schoolhouse in 1868, approximately. This school was also known as Closeville School.
Early School Buildings
Earliest records of the Town of Mayfield reveal the existence of three school buildings built of logs and mud, with a single door and two small windows.
The number of schools in the Town of Mayfield grew to 15 at one time.
Largely dependent on farming, Mayfield parents often needed their children to help with spring planting and fall harvesting. School was in session during the winter and summer months, and families of students were responsible for supplying their share of firewood for heating the school.
Construction of the first Riceville School
A record book of the school board meetings from 1824 to 1871 has been preserved. The first board clerk was Oliver Rice, the builder of the Rice Homestead, now owned by the Mayfield Historical Society. Riceville was a hub of activity for many years and the school was well attended, undergoing several expansion projects over time. In 1941, enrollment had dwindled to eight students and the school closed permanently.
The original district #8, was built on the Mountain Road.
Black Street School
Approximate building year of the Black Street School on the Perth line. It housed 25-30 students each year.
Red Bunch School
The Red Bunch school originally stood on a dirt road near the F.J. & G. Railroad tracks. This was a fair-weather school, operating from late spring to early autumn. During the 1860-65 period, the red-painted school building was moved around between several locations. It was situated at the intersection of three roads when it closed its doors in 1940.
First Union Free School
The first Union Free School, or School District #6, was built on North Main Street. The building operated as a school until 1890. The building would go on to be used by a variety of local businesses until 1916. It was then converted into a home that is still lived in.
Jackson Summit Fire
The original Jackson Summit School, district #7 building, burned down. Building date is unknown. Jackson was the largest school in Mayfield with 50-60 students. Like most schools of the era, boys and girls were kept separate, and the furnishings included a box wood stove, kerosene lamps and benches. The school remained open until 1939, and was later converted into a private home.
New Union Free School
The new Union Free School was built on School Street and housed grades 1-8. It operated until 1939 when it was replaced by the Mayfield High School. Among the most prized memorabilia, the original school bell was rescued from the demolition site and is on display at the Rice Homestead.
District #8 School
The District #8 School was among the latest erected in the area, before Mayfield Central took over all grades K-12. Serving grades 1-6, teacher wages were $118 for the winter term, and $120.35 for summer school. The building was converted into a home after closing in 1939 and is still lived in today.
Mayfield Central School
The Mayfield Central School is built at the cost of $238,000. Doors opened in September to students in grades K-12. First day of school surprises included standing in the classrooms as delivery of desks and chairs was delayed. Various older schools in the area closed when the central school was built.
For a brief time, captured in this unique photograph, the new building and the old Union Free School building building stood side by side.
1940: Red Bunch School closes permanently. Situated at the intersection of three roads, the school building is now part of a church and used for storage.
1941: With enrollment down to eight students, the Riceville School closed permanently.
A new elementary school is built on North Main Street to house grades K-6. Mayfield Central School undergoes remodeling and additions and becomes Mayfield High School, serving grades 7-12.
Mayfield Town Bicentennial
Mayfield students played many roles in their town’s 3-day Bicentennial Thanksgiving Festival. Band members marched in the parade, a choral group provided music, and high school students were named essay contest and spelling bee winners and bicentennial queen and runners up. The school hosted events.
U.S. Constitution Bicentennial
After a summer of planning and preparation, Mayfield High School students and staff held an afternoon ceremony on Sept. 16 commemorating the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Dressed in red, white or blue, students assembled on the front lawn to form a giant map of the U.S. Earlier that day, they sang the national anthem, honored the armed forces, read aloud a shortened version of the Constitution. They also enjoyed an eleven by five foot cake decorated as the American flag and lit with 200 candles.
The first Mayfield Central School graduating class of 1940 held their 50th anniversary reunion. Many members of Mayfield’s Class of 1940 are still living in the area.
Union Free Bell on Display
The original 1890 Union Free School bell is retrieved from storage at the high school and placed on display at Rice Homestead.