First phase of renovations completed at Whitpain Township’s historic Franklinville School

The Wissahickon Valley Historical Society has announced that it has completed the first phase of renovations to Whitpain Township’s Franklinville School. The Franklinville School dates back to 1858 and is the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in the area that will be open to the public. Others have become private residences or have been torn down.

The school is located on Morris Road and was once part of the historic Normandy Farms. The Franklinville School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role, not only as a school but as an early 20th
-century community center. Thousands assembled there each summer for
community picnics.

The start of the renovation project began in early 2021 and included a new electrical panel, improved drainage, and waterproofing of the foundation. Initial funding was obtained primarily through a $20,000 PA legislative grant, offered by the Keystone Communities Program, and made available through Representative Liz Hanbidge. Individual donors have also supported the project.

Further essential renovations are still planned, including rewiring, a new roof, new HVAC, rebuilding the front and back porches, and interior and exterior painting.

When all of the renovations are completed, the building will be furnished as a 19th-century, one-room classroom. The space will be used to educate students and the community about the history and customs of the area.

“We certainly appreciate every donation, large or small, and we will make sure each one is recognized publically,” said Joe Langella, vice-president of the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society. “The contributions are important because we still have much costly work to do! In addition, when we preserve historic buildings, we enhance our neighborhoods.”

Donations can be made online or by mail a check to WVHS, P.O. Box 96, Ambler, PA 19002.