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On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, State Rep. William J. Carson Jr. and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs recognized recent improvements made at the historic Octagonal Schoolhouse located at 6926 Bayside Drive east of Dover, Del. The improvements are the result of a partnership between the division, which administers the property, and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT).
Thanks to Rep. Carson, transportation funding was allocated to install a compacted-gravel roadway on the property in place of the overgrown, muddy and rutted lane that once led to the historic one-room building. In addition, Rep. Carson made arrangements for DelDOT to clear thick brush and trees from the side of the road and the grounds surrounding the school.
Plans for future improvements to the property include, among others, repairs to the building’s exterior wood features and stucco walls, replacement of interior flooring and removal of a dilapidated out-building.
Commenting on the recent improvements, Rep. Carson noted that the laying of the road was “the first step in our efforts to preserve this historic structure so that it will be available for public enjoyment in the future. I look forward to working with Tim [Tim Slavin, director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs] to help make that happen.”
About the Octagonal Schoolhouse …
Built and opened in 1836, and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the Octagonal Schoolhouse is one of the earliest examples of a one-room school in Delaware. Rooted in the Delaware Free School Act of 1829, it served as District No. 12 School in Kent County until 1930 when it became a community center. The site was acquired by the State of Delaware in 1967. The one-story building is made of undressed stone, stuccoed and whitewashed, with eight sides of equal dimension and a pyramidal shingled roof. Each of seven facets has a window; the eighth a door. In use, it had two circles of desks, back to back, the outer one for the boys and the inner one for the girls.