Salt Works School House

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June 1938 600x400
1938 photo of children attending the Salt Works School House. This picture was taken at the NE corner of the school.
Front Row (L-R) Shirley Bolleman, Arnold Bolleman, Bob Dullmadge, Bruce Peck
Second Row Hazel Dulmadge, Sally Grosz, Francis Vasser, Gary Clark, Robert Putnam
Third Row Charlette Beck, Mary Jane Wheeler, Susan Vasser, Stanley Grosz, Horace Featherly
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Circa 1933 photo courtesy of Phyllis Lent

For 110 years, the Salt Works School House was Sodus Point’s other schoolhouse. According to Sodus School History compiled by Bette Bugni, it opened in 1833 and closed its doors for the last time in 1943. During the final 10 years, Miss Alice Weis was its last teacher (1934-1943). The schoolhouse is located on the east side of Route 14 just as you leave the Village heading toward Alton.
How did the school get its name?
the following information is from the book “Great Sodus Bay History, Reminiscences, Anecdotes and Legends” by Walter Henry Green (Sodus, N.Y. 1947) p 50: The Salt Works school house got its name from a nearby salt spring. In the 1830s, Charles Field and brother manufactured salt. Because of these springs the locality is called Salt Hallow, the east and west road, the Salt Hollow Road (editors note: now called Morley Road), and on the Alton-Sodus Point highway is the Salt Works schoolhouse.
Here is a curious news clip for you from the Geneva Gazette, June 22, 1831. Dr. Ellet was the soon-to-be husband in 1831 of Elizabeth Fries Lummis. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Nixon Lummis, of Sodus Bay fame both at the Point and on the east side of the bay at Lummisville. Dr. Ellet was a chemistry professor – along with a list of other areas of scientific expertise. He was also an early pioneer with daguerreotype photography. Elizabeth became one of the foremost writers of women’s history of the mid-19th Century, especially with her 3-volume set of Women of the Ameican Revolution. She also wrote poetry – some about Sodus Bay.

In 1881 the Sodus Manufacturing Company was incorporated with Manley Sturgis of Sodus Center as president. Wells were sunk but the venture proved unprofitable. But little salt was manufactured and the company soon went out of existence.
In the 1890s, the School House was also used for a series of revival meetings.
The Salt Works School served as a one room school house to the children from the surrounding farms on the Alton-Sodus Point Road. The school house was also the source of the nickname for boys from the “south side” of Sodus Point which was “Salt house boys”. Miss Alice Weiss taught here until the school merged with the Sodus Point Intermediate, where she continued teaching.
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Miss Alice Weiss
After 1943, the schoolhouse became a VFW Post and today it is owned by Ron and Alice Bill. Ron restores antique boats at the facility.
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