Turkeyfoot History 1870-1899

Confluence Elementary and High School - 1882

Soon after the early settlers had built cabins to shelter their families, they began to construct rude churches and school houses. The first school to be organized in the Turkeyfoot Valley Area and in Somerset County was at the Jersey Settlement in Turkeyfoot Township in 1776. On April 1, 1834, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed an act know as the “Free School Law” which provided funds for the support of a free school system.

The first school in Confluence was erected in 1871 and was used for the borough schools until 1882 , when a two-story frame building, 38 by 48 feet with a seating capactiy of two hundred, was erected at a cost of about two thousand dollars. This building was used for elementary grades and a two-year highschool until 1924. During the construction of Confluence High school, the first and second grades of the elementary were taught in the building owned and operated by Harvey Kurtz, & Sons also in the Gilchrist Hotel. The teachers were: Miss Fay Rush and Miss Gladys Groff.                                       

The building pictured above was used by the High School in 1950, due to the jointure of the following districts: Addison Borough, Addison Township, Confluence Borough, Lower Turkeyfoot Township and Ursina Borough. Elsie Spurgeon, James Wilkins and Russell Wilson taught the high school students in this building due to the increased enrollment. At the time of the jointure, Charles Groff was supervising principal.