Address: Fletcher Farm Road

Old Address:

Other names: Fletcher Farm Road School; former Town of Franklin Common School District No. 8

Year built:

The Porter School, about two miles out on the Fletcher Farm Road from Bloomingdale, New York, was one of a number of one-room schools that became part of the Saranac Lake Central School District. By about 1970, this school was abandoned as a part of the centralization process. An old clipping cited by Peter Tomaino in his compilation, "Discovering Local History in the Northern Adirondacks," states that "The Porter School on the Upper Franklin Falls Road which will be sold by the Saranac Lake Central School District this month along with seven others. The school is in generally good condition but the rear door is open and minor vandalism is apparent." (p. 63)

Dorothy White, Bloomingdale historian, told this story: "This didn't happen in Bloomingdale, but on the outskirts of Bloomingdale there was a small school, on Norman Ridge. Frank Norman, who grew up in the area, and was quite an old character, told about this. Frank was going to the school up on "the ridge" [where this incident took place] at the time:

"There was a young man who never did what he was told, never! Well, he was playing with something and finally the teacher got sick of it, and — 'whatever you've got in your hands, and are playing with, come up and put it in the stove." And, he, who never did what he was told to do, immediately got up and put it in the stove. In just a few minutes, the stove grid hit the ceiling! It was a couple of bullets he had been playing with!" (p. 79)


"He didn't go on to say what happened to him, whether the teacher punished him or whatever; but, when the man grew up he was just kind of a 'ne'er-do-well' person.

"Do you think the event took place at the Porter School?"

"Probably. The mark of the griddle stayed on the ceiling, they never did anything about it."

It is now a private residence.

In an interview, Howard Riley mentioned the Porter School, which he had attended: "There was only 18 in our whole school, all 8 grades at the Porter School, there was only one teacher and she taught all 8 grades, but there was many grades there was no one in."


From The Plumley Story by Ralph F. Plumley, Town of Franklin, They Told Me So, 1986, n.p.

The first school house burned, known as the Porter School. Most of the students lost all their text books. While being rebuilt about twenty of us attended school at the only now remaining cottage at Fletcher Farm. Presently this property is where the Rupp's live. At Christmas time we had our Christmas Program at the John Norman place on Norman Ridge.

The new school was built closer to the road and also had water, so the students didn't have to go to the brook for pails of water. Our sessions of school was from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with a 15 minute recess in the morning and afternoon, and an hour for lunch. At noon time in the winter we took our sleds, walked to the top of Norman Ridge and slid down the hill, to Cold Brook. Then it was time for classes again. Other times we would slide down the hills at Skiff and Payes (now the Johnson's). All the Plumley children attended school there, and then Mrs. Frances (Plumley) Ransom's children did the same. At that time there were no school busses. We had to walk, or maybe our parents would hitch up the horses and take us. Some of the teachers of the school were: Maggie Derby, Ester McMaster; Mildred Wilbur; Margaret McKillip; Mrs. Flandglan [sic: Flanigan?] (she stayed at Francis Skiff's); Stanley Skiff; Mrs. Isabelle McGraw; and Miss Monney. Florence Norman played the organ in school so the students could sing. No longer in use, some years ago the school was sold to Stevie Ransom, Jr., and Charlie Riley. More recently it was sold to the Van Dijk's.