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Midway School #178

Description

Historic District
No

Public school #178 has been the scene of many tests, but few remember the tiny 20' by 24' building -- where it was originally located; what color it was painted; who attended or who taught there. Its legacy and predigree have faded over time and that test may never reveal all the answers. But we do know a few things about school #178 or Midway School as it became to be known. Early records show that two teachers, Naomah Lank and Effie M. Warrington, were assigned to the school during 1914-1915. The following year's records show that Ms. Lank taught grades four through seven and Verda M. Rodney was assigned grades one through three. Apparently these two taught during the war years for at least seven school years.

Later records show that Ruth E. Greene (later Cole) a 1920 Rehoboth High School graduate became the lone teacher at the school from 1922 through 1925. The State Educational Directory listed trustees William E. Howard, president, R.D.Thompson, clerk, and J.R. Dodd, trustee.

Ruth E. Cole recorded the following:

In th year 1922 it [Midway School] was a two-room school. Mrs. Verda Rodney (Dodd) taught the first four grades in the front room of the school. I taught the other four grades in the back room. In 1923 they made it a one-room school, teaching only to the sixth grade. The others went to Lewes School. I taught those classes the other two years. Next teacher after me was Julia Steen Lingo from Millsboro.

Other teachers taught at the school, but few are remembered. One was Isaac Jarman who taught for some time until the school was finally clsed in 1937. When one-room schools were being phased out, they were often abandoned or offered for sale to nearby landowners. One such landowner was Ernest Megee, Sr., who farmed the area around Midway School. Mr. Megee moved the building to his farm where it stood for three generations being used for farm storage and other related operations, plumbing work, and finally miscellaneous machinary storage.

The Society acquired the schoolhouse in 1998 and moved it to the Historic Complex that on February 9, 1999; it was the gift of Ernest E. Megee, Jr. John Davidson and East Coast Home Movers relocated the strucure.

Noted Lewes historian Hazel Brittingham shared her enthusiasm at the school's dedication at the Historic Complex on May 14, 2000:

Let the record state that the little Midway School played hooky. Growing restless after years of uselessness and silence, it pulled up its stakes. After a lifetime of residency in Midway - halfway between Lewes and Rehoboth - it chose Lewes as its home. The schoolhouse is waiting in joyful anticipation to feel once again the patter of feet and the sound of laughter of young and the young-at-heart who will be reporting to class as they tour the historic buildings of the Historic Complex.

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