The first record of a school in Coram is found in 1811 when Dr. Samuel Norton purchased the meetinghouse "used for a schoolhouse." It stood in the triangle in front of what is now the Methodist Church. The original school was taken apart and used in the construction of a home.
In 1813 the Town of Brookhaven was divided into school districts. The boundaries laid out were measured by the distance a boy could walk to school. In the original division Coram was district 10 and is described as follows: " No. 10 is to embrace the inhabitants of Coram as far west as James Norton's." The eastern boundary although not clearly defined included up to Swezeytown.
The school built in 1813 was used until 1900 when it was condemned and a new one built to replace it. A beautiful wooded knoll known as Mt. Tabor rising sixty feet formed the background of the new school's property.
The first record we found of Coram hiring a teacher was in 1814 when Elijah Terry was hired to keep a Common English School. The people of Coram agreed to pay him one dollar and seventy-five cents for each student sent to school. Each parent agreed to provide ½ cord of firewood as payment for each child sent to school. Another form of teacher pay that Mr. Terry enjoyed was to receive one week's board at the home of each student who attended the Coram School.
School furnishings were sparse with students working on a high slanted desk attached to the wall. Backless benches served as chairs. The student's ages ranged from 5-21 in this one room schoolhouse.
Edwin Hawkins a student of
the one room schoolhouse in the early 1930's remembered
"the older children helping to teach the younger
ones" a system he recalled "that seemed to
work." The old schoolhouse was a simple structure
measuring 20feet by 30 feet. It had twin outhouses in the
back and Hawkins remembers "pushing on the girls
outhouse when it was occupied." In the same breath
he recalled having to "go out and cut hickory
switches (branches) which would be used by the teacher
for striking the hands of poorly behaved students."
Doris (Faron) Bayles recalled the "water fountain as
being a bucket of well water with a ladle in it."
Information compiled by: