Cameron County Genealogy Project

Cameron County Genealogy Project

Gibson Township


A Brief History of Gibson Township Schools 1904-1960 by C. J. Collins 

1905 Gibson Township School Registry - All of the students registered for the school year 1905-1906

Castle Garden School

The Castle Garden School was the last one room schoolhouse in Cameron County to close its doors. Its teacher, Miss Grace Jordan, retired June 5, 1959 when the school closed. Click here for a photo of the class in 1917. Photo courtesy Shirley Wiggens


Driftwood High School

There were apparently two schools in Driftwood. There are no records for the first. The only information available is that the school closed in 1916 due to low enrollment. We recently discovered the Announcement for the Class of 1902. The second was a 3-room school where ten grades were taught until it was closed in 1930.


Hicks Run School

During the lumber heyday, there was a school at Hicks Run. When the lumber mills closed in 1912, several buildings were moved to nearby towns, but by 1930, most of the houses were vacant and the school was no longer necessary.


Huntley School

Grades 1 through 8 attended the one-room Huntley School. The students hand-carried water from a spring to fill the fountain and coal and wood from the wood shed for a huge pot-bellied stove that stood in the middle of the room.After the church in Huntley was destroyed by fire, the Huntley School doubled as a Sunday School, and was even used for funerals. When a funeral was held while school was in session, the pupils all gave up their seats to the mourners and stood quietly at the back of the room. Grace Jordan taught at Huntley School for seven years; the school finally closed in 1946. Click here for an undated photo of students at the school.


Huston Hill School

On June 13, 1883, Adam and Anna Barber Hicks sold -acre to the Benezette School District for a school on Huston Hill, Elk County, PA. The school was bounded on the east by the Cameron County line, the west by Adam Hicks' land, the north by the township road, and on the south by the Huston Hill Cemetery. The wooden, one-story school house had three windows on each side, a chimney near the center, and a belfry with bell on the roof. A small cloak room was added to the front of the building. The main room had single and double seats and three long seats where individual classes were held. The teacher's desk at the far end was in the center of a platform raised about 6 inches above the floor. The platform was long enough to accommodate books on the left, an organ on the right, with the teacher's desk in between. The room was lit by kerosene lamps and heated by a pot belly stove that stood in the center aisle of desks. The school had two outhouses—one for girls and one for boys.

The citizens of Huston Hill auctioned box lunches to raise money for a school bell. The ladies who lived on Huston Hill made the box lunches and Charles Barr auctioned them for 25–95 cents apiece. In 1905, the bell arrived and Powell Barr hitched his horses to hoist it to the roof of the school. The sound of the school bell at Huston Hill could be heard for miles through the mountains.  Click here for a photo of the Class of 1910. Click here for the Class about 1912.


Mason Hill Schools

In 1820, the first school term on Mason Hill was taught by Dennis Lynch, a native of Ireland. The school building was made of round logs held together by mud and was heated by a large corner fireplace. About 1860, Miss Mary Young (later Mrs. A.R. Smith) taught seven children during her first term in the log house that was used for Sunday School. A new, one-room school house was built in 1867, where E.A. Coleman was the school director and Miss Jennie Hanford was the first teacher. The Mason Hill School closed in 1940. Click here for a photo of the Mason Hill School and the class list for 1911.


Sources: History of Cameron County Pennsylvania and Royally Rugged Cameron County.


This page was last updated on  Saturday, June 12, 2004.

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2004 Cameron County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project