Envisioning Education for Everyone: The Harlemville Schoolhouse

Almost 140 years ago the tidy, bright green building at the intersection of Harlemville Rd. and County Route 21C was constructed as a public schoolhouse for the residents of Harlemville, a hamlet in northwest Hillsdale.  In 1880 Harlemville numbered 100 people and had two stores and a hotel.  Very little evidence of that community remains, except for the schoolhouse.

Today the building houses the Art School of Columbia County (ASCC), a non-profit community group serving more than 1500 Columbia County residents with free and low-cost art programming for all ages.

We’ve always wondered about the the Harlemville Schoolhouse and were delighted to find a lively history of  the building in “Columbia County History & Heritage,” the magazine of the Columbia County Historical Society (Spring/Summer 2018). Written by Kathryn Kosto, ASCC’s Executive Director, “Education and Community: The Harlemville Schoolhouse” is illustrated with period photos that were new to us. It’s a well-researched look at public education in a rural New York community circa 1880. Click on the link below to read the full article.


It’s almost unheard of for a building to retain its original purpose after a century and a half, yet the little green schoolhouse continues to educate and serve the community. The ASCC has been offered the donation of the historic 1880 Schoolhouse and the surrounding 0.81 acres. To receive this gift, ASCC must raise $20,000 by  year’s end to ensure the structure has funding for future maintenance needs.  If you’d like to donate to the Art School’s Capital Campaign, and support its vision of “envisioning art for everyone,” click here.


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1 Response to Envisioning Education for Everyone: The Harlemville Schoolhouse

  1. Thank you for sharing ASCC’s story and history, Lauren and Chris. You are right – ASCC represents one of the very few historic schoolhouses still being used for community education, and 90% of our programs are free. Do you know how many other historic schoolhouses are still being used for community education?


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