Three historic markers dedicated in Upper Oxford
UPPER OXFORD >> Before the school district consolidation in 1954, children in the township began their education in one-room school houses. On Nov. 12, historic markers were dedicated at three of the five former school houses in Upper Oxford.
The Upper Oxford Historic Commission has erected signs at the former Oak Grove, Maple Plain and Pleasant View schools.
When the schools were closed, the buildings were sold, and most were converted into houses. Oak Grove is located at 5066 Homeville Road and Maple Plain is at 4176 Newark Road. Pleasant View, at 1185 Limestone Road, is now the Upper Oxford municipal building, and remains very similar to its original appearance, complete with blackboards still upon the walls.
Two years ago, a marker was placed at the home that once was the Villanova School. Still to receive a marker is the last of the five, the Penn’s Grove school house.
For the dedication, the commission invited the public to attend, with several of the former students joining the group. At each of the three stops, alumni including Iris Dowling and Katherine Steele spoke about their memories of the school.
At their beginning, each school taught all grades, but as time went on they were organized so that each building housed one or two grades, first through eighth, preparing the students to enter the Oxford High School.
The Pleasant View School was built in 1901, and is the only one of the five township schools built of brick. “I’m amazed today when I look at the brickwork,” Howard Robinson said. “Look at the brick joint. It’s not a big wide joint like you see today, it’s almost paper thin, which takes great skill. You can see the skill and expert work that went into this building.”
Robinson began first grade in Pleasant View 69 years ago. He recalled not only the educational experience, but the people who made the place so impor-
tant in his life. One in particular was classmate and friend Bobby Davis who later was the first Chester Countian to die in the Vietnam war.
Davis’ sister Wanda is a member of the historic commission and has been involved in the historic marker project. She also has a personal connection to the Villanova School. “My grandmother bought the building not knowing it was a school house,” she said. “I want to thank the historic commission and the township for taking this awesome responsibility on. We thought plaques for each of the schools would be good and they worked hard and here we are dedicating these plaques now.”
Historic Commission members and alumni gathered Nov. 12 to dedicate historic markers at three former one-room school houses in Upper Oxford — Oak Grove, Maple Plain and Pleasant View schools.