My Hometown Yesterday and Today as I Remember

The school in my hometown, opened in 1930. Notice Girls and Boys entrances.

My hometown sits nestled beneath hills of maple forests and once rich farmland, where creeks run with clear spring water – God’s country.

Once a bustling crossroads, it is quiet now. Prosperous farmland sits idle. The General Store just an empty rundown building and the gas station gone. Only the school and church resist.

I remember:

better days – July 4th parades, flags flying, people lined streets, picnics behind the church. Everyone brought food.

starting school and when it closed, 2 years before graduation. Twelve students were to graduate.

It was a such a different place – and time.

And Now The Real Story —

The Town of Virgil is located in Central New York State in the hills between Syracuse and Binghamton. It was first established as part of a military tract with parcels of land granted to Revolutionary War soldiers as payment for their service. It was named for Roman poet, Virgil, and first settled in 1792. The town was formed 1804.

The first census in 1820 shows a population of 2,411 and has risen and fallen over the years with the most current (2016) census showing 2,387. Population was actually at its lowest in the 1940’s and 50’s; it started to rise in 1970’s. My family moved to Virgil in the 1950’s; and I started school in 1955.

The Virgil Central School District began in 1930-31 by combining 8 Common School districts. In 1958 New York State determined that smaller schools should combine with larger districts and arrived at an arbitrary minimum number of 1,200 students for a district. Virgil did not meet their requirements and talks began to combine. In 1965 Virgil combined with Cortland City Schools with 7-12 grades going to the city and K-6 would stay in Virgil. I was in 11th grade.

One of the best ski areas in Central New York is located in the Virgil area – Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge. In addition to the ski slopes, there is an indoor water park, spa, lodging and dining. Just a short distance and up the hill, my mom, dad and 2 sisters spent a snowy we couldn’t get out and had to have food dropped from a helicopter for us. Many times we had people sleeping on our livingroom floor because they had gotten stranded in the snow trying to get to the ski area.

Virgil is rural America – God’s Country.

This post was written in response to Carrot Ranch July 22nd 99-word Flash Fiction Challenge.

11 thoughts on “My Hometown Yesterday and Today as I Remember

  1. Your entry reminded me of a passage from Agatha Christie’s ‘An Autobiography.’ A book I often turn to when I need a boost.

    (On returning to the place where her childhood home once stood):
    “And then I saw the only clue – the defiant remains of what had once been a money puzzle, struggling to exit in a cluttered back yard. (…) I said ‘Brave monkey puzzle’ to it and turned away.”

    Our memories are what keep our childhood places alive.
    I loved your travel down memory lane.

    Liked by 2 people

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