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Lavenlair one-room school house

Archival image of the one-room school house that sits nestled among the scent of lavender on Lavenlair Farm in Fort Ann. 

Voting opened on Friday for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest and local lavender farmers David and Diane Allen need community support and votes to get them one step closer to the top $50,000 prize for the farm.

“We have a chance to bring another long-forgotten part of history back into the present,” said Diane Allen about an 1807 one-room schoolhouse that sits alongside their restored 1820s stone farmhouse and barn.

The Allens said they have dreamed of this project for years and the FedEx grant would make it possible.

“While the students have long been absent, this building holds a special place in our hearts,” said Allen. “We are friendly with several former students of the schoolhouse, all in their 90s, who can contribute stories and photographs to this historical project.”

After the April 1 deadline, FedEx selects 100 of the top vote-getting businesses to move on to the second phase of the competition.

“They are looking to see if there is support from the community for this project (which we are hoping there is!),” said Diane. “We need everyone to vote once every 24 hours until April 1.”

The schoolhouse was originally a baptist church, Diane said.

“It became Westfield School No. 6, one of the six one-room schoolhouses in Fort Ann until 1939, when the town opened a Central K-12 school built with WPA money during the Great Depression,” she added.

As part of the schoolhouse’s restoration, the Allens plan to create an interior historical gallery and to photograph the students who went to the school for display in the gallery.

Additionally, renovation plans include a commercial kitchen and a long window for visitors to watch products being made, like the pouring of lip balms made from beeswax obtained from 11 onsite hives.

“We’ve applied for a 2019 NY State New Farmers Grant (a matching grant for up to $50,000) and just won $5,000 in the SUNY ADK Business Pitch contest, all of which will go toward the renovation,”siad Diane. “We have a lot of work to do, but the bones of the building are sound and we plan to make the exterior as close to the original photo as we can.

Hartford scholarships open for four students

Permanent Hartford residents who plan to enroll for full-time undergraduate study at a two or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school can apply for the $2,500 Jointa Galusha Town of Hartford Scholarship Program.

The deadline to apply online is 3 p.m. central time, April 4. (https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/jointagalusha/)

Required documents include:

  • A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grade and credit hours, and term in which the course was taken.
  • Copy of pages 1 and 2 of the most recently filed IRS Form 1040 used to complete the financial information section of the application.

Supervisors approve farm parcels

The Washington County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to include two parcels in the county’s certified agricultural district, following a public hearing on Friday in Fort Edward.

According to the resolution, the two parcels are currently in agricultural production and their inclusion would not have a significant environmental impact.

Including the parcels, 2.7 acres in Granville, belonging to Daniel Campbell and 7.2 acres in Whitehall, belonging to Raymond Van Guilder, will have no impact on the county budget. There was no opposition to the request.

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Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli covers Washington County government and other county news and events.

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