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History of the District

[The history of the Marcus Whitman Central School District on these pages has been copied from the 2003 district Alumni Directory]

Without doubt education was on of the chief concerns of the people of Gorham from the earliest history of the community. Education in Gorham had its beginning in 1798 in a log cabin which served until 1815 when the first frame school house was built. The growth in the desire for an education necessitated the building of a larger school in 1874. This building accommodated eight pupils, but after 36 years it was replaced by a brick structure. This brick building was soon found inadequate for the large number of pupils and was enlarged to six rooms.

The history of Seneca-Gorham-Potter Central School is brief. In 1929, the six districts of: Gorham Union Free District #3, with a school house at Gorham, maintaining a graded school of two rooms and a two-year high school; the Younglove District, or Gorham #4, operating a one-room school south of Gorham on the Voak Road; the Granger District, or Gorham #2, located west of Gorham on the Rushville Road, midway between Rushville and Gorham; the Pickett District, or Gorham #5, located on the Reeds Corners-Gorham Road, three miles northwest of Gorham; the Stone Jug District, or Gorham #10, with a school located three miles north of Gorham; and the Stanley Union School, known as Seneca #1, located at Stanley were combined into the Seneca-Gorham-Potter Central School. All of these districts have individual histories which would be too long to record here.

The disastrous fire of October 29, 1929, totally destroyed the Gorham school building and threw upon the community a problem of great importance. Should the people continue to operate the schools upon an individual district basis, or should they join together to form a central school district?

The question was not as simple as it appeared, for there were many conflicting interests, but, after much debate, the commissioner of education laid out the district on June 30, 1930 as planned by District Superintendent of Schools C. C. Muehe. On June 25, 1930 the voters of the new district established it by a vote of 204 to 100.

("The 1937 Arrowhead")

"Out of the group of children in any school will come the men and women of tomorrow. Here are the future doctors, lawyers, and clergymen; here, perhaps, the paupers, criminals, and undesirables. If one of these boys or girls does become a burden on society, therefore, how much of the blame rests with the school? Our school realizes that there are just as many personalities as there are pupils. Each needs its particular method of attack, and each will return " a kind word with one of hope; a look of love with one of love and tenderness. A child may go wrong because a teacher has not understood him and has meted out discipline that has maimed his very soul. Not so at Gorham, we hope. Understanding, help, and encouragement are the watchwords, and everyone strives to find some goal."

("The Arrowhead" for 1938)