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Octagon School House

South Canaan - In South Canaan Township. on the road from Cortez to Canaan Corners. stands the "Stone Jug School," the only remaining octagon school house in Wayne County. At one time there were four of these unusual. squat eight sided stone school buildings. There is no accurate record of when these buildings were constructed or who designed and built them. Some say that Irish immigrant stone masons copied the design from houses in their native land. One account attributes the South Canaan structure to the "Messrs. Megargle of Sterling." It is believed that the Stone Jug School was in use by the late 1830's. The building has 18 inch walls and is entered by a heavy two inch thick door. In the center was a coal burning pot-bellied stove. Across from the door was a six inch high platform on which sat the teacher's desk. The blackboard stretched across two of the eight sides. In the 1960's members of the community began efforts to save the building from demolition by neglect. In the 1980's the "Citizens for the Preservation of our Local Heritage" were successful in getting the school on the National Register of Historic Places, but today it is still at the whim of the farmer whose cornfield surrounds it.

Text by

Line Drawing by Judith Hunt

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.