In the early 1970’s, a small group of 7th and 8th grade pupils in our local history course decided to identify the one room school houses that served Boonton Township in the 1800’s.
They arranged to research five sites, and raise money for signs and posts. They were fortunate to have the help of noted Boonton Historian Alex Fowler in identifying five sites in our township.
A few years ago it was noted that these same signs had been removed or were no longer legible, with two exceptions.
The present Historical Society of Boonton Township, under the direction of member Gail Kuchavik, sought to raise money to replace these one-room-school signs. Due to Mrs. Kuchavik’s hard work and persistence, funds for the replacement signs, posts, and installation was arranged. A new member of the Historical Society, Mr. Ben Koehler, agreed to pay for the new signs. On June 6, 2007 new signs were installed throughout the township in four locations.
Site One is where Rockaway Valley Methodist Church now stands on Valley Road. It was listed as Rockaway Valley/District School, c. 1809-1840. (The church building was erected in 1842).
Site Two is known as The Log House School where John L. Kanouse taught – Powerville District/Log House School, c. 1830-1836. It was presumed abandoned before 1838. It is on the Rockaway River next to the Charles Righter House on Powerville Road. (A newer home now occupies the site and is just before the Boonton Township Firehouse).
Site Three is a small triangle lot on the east side of Powerville Road and lies just across from the entrance to the Municipal Building. It is listed as Powerville District/School No. 8, c. 1836-1872.
Site Four is at the intersection of Rockaway Valley and Split Rock Road. This is the last standing one room school house in the township and is now the home of the Auriemma Family. It is listed as Rockaway Valley School Dist. No. 9, c.1840-1880 & Dist, School No. 18, c. 1880-1930. The Township of Boonton sold the property to a private owner in 1930.
Site Five is where a two-story, two room wooden school once stood just behind the present Municipal Building and Police Headquarters on Powerville Road. This two room, school house educated children from Kindergarten through 8th grade and was used by the municipality until the late 1960’s when it was demolished. It was used as a school between 1871-1953. A plaque is on the rear wall of the old Powerville School near the back entrance to the Municipal Building.