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The Valley School

Valley SchoolDissatisfied with the quality of the education provided at the local public schools, Elijah Rosencrantz joined with a dozen of his more affluent neighbors in 1871 to form the Educational Association of Ho-Ho-Kus. The other shareholders in the association were J. H. Rutter, N. B. Kukuck, Henry Clair, Alonzo Milliken, Joseph Jefferson, R. N. Cable, Orville J. Victor, Arthur H. Walton, H. Dennis, Richard W. Hawes, Alfred Ackerman, J. D. Stout, and Samuel Hopkins. They bought land on what is now Hollywood Avenue and constructed the private Valley School. It had one large classroom, a cloakroom, and a supply room.

At times, 25–30 students attended Valley School. Tuition was $20–$30 per term. Elijah’s interest was probably stirred by the fact that his youngest son, George, was six in 1871. In 1879, Elijah paid $70 for four quarters of tuition.

The Valley School continued as a private school into the late 1880s. After it closed, the building may have been used briefly as a clubhouse for the golf club founded by William Rosencrantz in 1893. In 1901, Orville Victor, one of the original shareholders in the Educational Association, bought the schoolhouse at a tax sale, and his daughter Florence Victor persuaded him to allow a local Sunday School to use the building. In 1904, members of the Episcopal Christ Church in Ridgewood formed the Ho-Ho-Kus Mission Association. They bought the schoolhouse from Orville Victor for $300 and it became St. Bartholomew’s Church.

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