The Wissahickon Valley Historic Society has completed the first phase of its renovations to Whitpain Township’s Franklinville School, and the society is seeking donations for further work. The 1858 Franklinville School is the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in the area that will be open to the public. Others have become private residences or have been torn down. The school is located on Morris Road and was once part of the historic Normandy Farms. The Franklinville School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role, not only as a school, but as an early 20th-century community center. Thousands assembled there each summer for community picnics.
The start of the renovation project, which began earlier this year, included a new electrical panel, improved drainage, and waterproofing of the foundation. Initial funding was obtained primarily through a $20,000 PA legislative grant, offered by the Keystone Communities Program, and made available through Representative Liz Hanbidge. Individual donors have also supported the project. Several essential renovations are still planned for the school, including rewiring, a new roof, new HVAC, rebuilding the front and back porches, and painting, inside and out. The work is important to ensuring the integrity of the structure and to making it accessible to visitors. When all the renovations are complete, the building, furnished as a 19th century, one-room classroom, will be used to educate students and the community about the history and customs of our area. Donations of any size can be made online at www.WValleyHS.org or by mail to WVHS, P.O. Box 96, Ambler, PA 19002.