Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pine Castle Historical Markers - part 5


Early education in the new community of Pine Castle was carried out casually, often in someone’s home, but Orange County established a formal school district in 1869. A school had to have a minimum of 10 students to receive county funds. Pine Castle’s first school, a rough-hewn structure, was built in 1877 on the corner of Orange and Hoffner Avenues. Textbooks were donated by Will Wallace Harney.

The first teacher was Mrs. Jennie Preston (1831-1904), the namesake for nearby Lake Jennie Jewell. Teacher salaries were dependent upon daily average attendance and could be increased or decreased by the school board according to the average that had to be certified each month. For the 1888-1889 school year, the county paid Pine Castle salaries totaling $33.00.

In the 1880s, a new school building was built on the northern part of the present school grounds, and it also was of similar design, containing rough desks and seats.

In 1900, a new school on the same grounds was constructed of finished lumber and had louvered shutters at its windows, and by 1912, an increase in the student population resulted in the building of a two-story building.

An additional school, a two-story stucco building, was built in 1924, during Pine Castle’s boom years. Expansion continued with the addition of new buildings, including an auditorium. By 1952, the school could only be used for elementary students while older students were transported to other Orange County schools.

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