Timeless Teachings in a Changing World
Lorenzo’s newest addition is the historic Rippleton Schoolhouse built circa 1814 and operated until 1931. Sarah Auchincloss donated the District No. 7 School to Lorenzo in 1996 to preserve it for future use by school groups and the general public. Originally located less than a mile south of Lorenzo in the hamlet of Rippleton, the building was moved in two pieces — the main part of the building and the historic cloakroom/privy addition a half mile north to the state site in 1997.
A school and Lorenzo were a logical pairing. John Lincklaen established a school in his new Village of Cazenovia in 1796. "An Act for the Estblishment of Common Schools" passed by the New York State Legislature in 1812 called for each town to be divided into school districts. The Town of Cazenovia initially was divided into fifteen districts, eventually growing to twenty-two.
Members of the Lincklaen/Ledyard family were active benefactors of the Rippleton Schoolhouse. Mrs. Ledyard Lincklaen and her brother-in-law, Lamburtus Wolters Ledyard, were trustees of District No. 7. Ledyard was instrumental in adding land to the school property and making major improvements to the building. He donated numerous items to the school, including books, and sponored many picnics for the teachers, students and their families. The school was in continuous use until 1931 when Cazenovia opened a new central school. During the intervening 65 years, the building's uses ranged from a hen house to a woodworking studio to a residence.
Concerted research, documentation and analysis have led to restoration of the Rippleton Schoolhouse to the 1880s period, which coincides with the Fairchild era at Lorenzo. Noteworthy features of this period include board and batten siding, a Queen Anne dormer with stained glass windows, bronze powder wallpaper and acetylene gas lighting.
The restored facility offers school-age children an authentic setting to attend a one-room school as it would have been led in the late 19th century by Miss Mattie Buckland, the Rippleton "schoolmarm" from 1885 to 1887. Schoolhouse No. 7 is also available by special appointment for educational program for "children of all ages."