29 June 2017

Flagtown School

At their meeting on August 13, 1951, the Hillsborough Township Board of Education announced that they would not need to open the Flagtown School for the coming school year. Thus began the long 25-year goodbye of one of our town's most beloved schools.


Flagtown School in 2012

The Flagtown School that we remember today was built in 1915 as a modern two-room school, and soon expanded to four rooms. But this was not the first school in the Flagtown vicinity.

Detail from 1850 Somerset County map

The original 18th century village of Flaggtown was centered at the intersection of Amwell Road (now designated as an extension of East Mountain Rd.) and the road to South Branch, as shown on the 1850 Somerset County map. Two one-room schoolhouses served the community - the first near Mill Lane was later called the Washington School, and the second heading north on South Branch Road was named Flaggtown School - and later renamed Flaggtown Station School.


The Flagtown teachers outside the school in 1928.
 Principal Ralph Juppe is on the left.
When the South Branch Railroad was constructed in the 1860s, it passed just to the south of the Flaggtown School - with the 1870s Lehigh Valley Railroad also passing nearby. By 1915 it was time for Flagtown to get an upgrade. A new location was chosen south of the Lehigh Valley Railroad crossing, and the old school building was purchased by longtime Flagtown resident William H. Gillette and converted to a residence.


November 17, 1956 Courier News 
Thousands of children from all over Hillsborough attended Flagtown school in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, as the school district began to consolidate schools and create single grade-level schools. 

The school was indeed retired for a year in 1951-52, but was put back into service the next as continued enrollment growth once again vexed the school board. Students continued to attend Flagtown from the 50s to the 70s - right up until the opening of the new Hillsborough Middle School on Triangle Road. In 1976, the school board leased the Flagtown school to the municipality for $1 a year, an arrangement that lasted for many years until the township acquired the property outright.

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