Town of Manlius

From "The Minoa Chronicle," January 1999

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

Many of our early settlers may have been uneducated, but they were determined that their children would have their chance at an education.  In the late 1820's or early 1830's a school house stood near the old St. Mary's Cemetery.  It was a log cabin, and it was often used by the Catholics to celebrate Mass.  Later the cabin was demolished to make room for St. Mary's first church.  Sometime around 1836 a stone school house was erected on the southeast corner of Main Street and Kirkville Road.

The first public school was built in 1841 and was located where St. Mary's parking lot on Main Street is now located.  About 1851 a Catholic School was built on the northeast side of Main Street and Kirkville Road.  It was a one-story frame house, and it was said that the students attending this school spoke only German during the morning session and only English in the afternoon.  In 1867, St. Mary's bought the land directly behind the old public school.

The old cemetery was beginning to fill and because the land was so low the graves would fill with water as quickly as they were dug.  The new cemetery, however, also presented problems.  Parents weren't too thrilled to think that their children were using the cemetery as their playground.  They petitioned for a new school.

In the early 1870's a new school was built where St. Mary's Church now stands.  It was considered a large school for the time.  It even had a gym on the second floor.  Minoa's students could complete two years of high school in this school.  If they wanted a complete four year high school program they had to attend the East Syracuse School District for the last two years.

In 1912, the Minoa union School District No. 2, Town of Manlius, constructed Minoa's Graded and High School.  Students in Minoa could now complete their high school years in Minoa.

"The Minoa Chronicle" is published quarterly by Norma Jenner, Bob Kinsella, Bev Petterelli and Loretta Sturick, and is available at Green's Hardware Store, the Minoa Public Library and the Village Office in Minoa, and at Brownell's Printing in Eastwood.

Submitted 23 April 1999