The forty-one eighth-graders who graduated in Hillsborough Township on June 15, 1929 held their ceremony at the Clover Hill Church. Dorothy Stryker from Pleasantview School played the processional as the students marched into the church, decorated for the occasion with roses and pink peonies, and sat on a platform at the front, while parents and guests crowded the pews.
|Blackwell's Mill from the 1860 Farm Map of Hillsboro'|
One student from each of Hillsborough's one and two room schoolhouses that produced a graduate that year was given a special part to play in the proceedings. Norman Sutphen from Montgomery School gave a recitation, Helen Olon of Liberty School sang a solo, Dorothy Van Doren of Clover Hill played the piano, Sara Labau of Pleasant View School gave a recitation, Almira Veghte of New Center School played a piano selection, Hazel Erck of the Mountain school received her prize from the Manville National Bank for getting a high score on the state test, and the graduates of Flagtown School each gave brief recitations.
Finally, Inez Squeri from the Blackwell's Mills School stood up to recite - the last act by a student from the school that had served the children from the southwest corner of Hillsborough for over one hundred years.
|Blackwell's Mills School from a postcard circa 1905|
The first school in the tiny village along the Millstone River was probably built around the same time the mill went up in 1746. It was located north of the mill nearer to Millstone. In 1813 a new school was built in a new location well south of the village at the corner of Millstone River Road and its original intersection with Hillsborough Road.
|Detail from the 1850 Somerset County map|
In 1928 and 1929 the school board struggled with issues of overcrowding and aging schoolhouses - some without electricity. A proposal to build a new two-room school at Blackwell's Mills was put before the voters, but it was turned down in favor of a modern four-room school to replace the one-room Bloomingdale School. It was decided that the 25 or so students from Blackwell's Mills could be bused to Bloomingdale.
The school was sold at auction, along with the old Hillsboro/Crossroads School, on August 24, 1929.