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Eight Square Schoolhouse Programs

1892 Full Day Living History

Designed to enhance learning about history through imaginative role playing and getting up close and personal with artifacts in our historic 1827 schoolhouse in Dryden, New York. This excellent program, begun in 1992, is now part of the Kids Discover the Trail initiative for fourth grades. Also excellent for home school groups ages 6 through 16. ($275/day)

We also welcome adult groups to visit and tour the schoolhouse ($75/hour for up to 20 adults)

Our day-long Living History program gives fourth graders from public, private, and home school groups an opportunity to experience a day at school in 1892. The Eight Square Schoolhouse is the site of program, led by trained schoolteachers using an authentic 1890s curriculum. Students engage in such activities as pen-and-ink penmanship lessons, reading aloud from primers of the day, and outdoor recess with period games. Students are encouraged to dress the part and bring lunches that replicate what their great-great grandparents might have taken to school. Nearly 800 children participate in the program annually.

Teachers & Parents

The Going to a One Room School slideshow serves as an introduction to your trip to the schoolhouse.  Visitors can learn about Tompkins County in the late 1800s, and get a ‘sneak peak’ of what to expect at our historic site in order to better prepare for their visit, including outhouses and a pump and well.

Our Classroom Guide is intended to help prepare your students for their visit to the Eight Square Schoolhouse.  It includes pre-trip activities, information on the 1890's time period, the 8 Square Schoolhouse site, details on how to dress children and adults for the day, and how to pack a period lunch.

For further information and to learn how your group can participate, contact Julia Taylor at 273-8284 x229 or

Schoolmarms and Schoolmasters Wanted: Become A Teacher at The Eight Square Schoolhouse

Take some local history, a landmark building, a flair for the dramatic and a roomful of kids – mix well and you will have an unforgettable trip to the past. The History Center is looking for teachers at our 1827 schoolhouse on Hanshaw Road in Dryden. In the spring and fall, area 4th grade and home school children spend a day immersed in rural one-room school education of over a century ago via our Living History program. If you are interested in becoming part of our unique teaching team, please email Julia Taylor at

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