This marker is located on Monell Avenue at the Northwest corner of the Islip Public Library property.
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THE MONELL AVENUE SCHOOL
There were classrooms and a large study hall on the 2nd floor, classrooms and a small gym-type area where dumbbells and other kinds of equipment were kept, presumably for physical activities, on the ground floor. The bathrooms were down in the basement.
The Monell Avenue School was located on the property that is now the Islip Public Library. It was a large, impressive two-story building with a high, square, bell tower in the front, at the Monell Avenue entrance. It served the students of Islip for four decades and covered grades kindergarten through twelve for most of those years. Built in 1884 for $10,000, (property included) it was considered to be the finest school in all of Suffolk County.
Most students today like fire drills because it gives them a welcome break from their lessons. But the kids at the Monell Avenue School, those at least on the second floor, had an additional reason: their unusual fire escape.
The school grounds were not large. Since the school was erected on the north side of the property, the modest ball field that the school sported was located to the southeast of the building. In front, on the Monell A venue side was a row of seesaws. The Hallock family, who owned the white house on Monell Avenue just north of the school, ran a small, candy stand on the comer of their property. We may be certain that in the minds of those school kids, there was no better place for a candy stand.
While the school offered a limited number of subjects compared to schools today, it was the first in the county to offer its older students business courses.
As Islip's population increased, even this most perfect and advanced school of its time had to give way to a larger, three-story brick building that was built in 1924 and still stands on Main Street opposite the Methodist Church.
(Original Research: Richard Baldwin - Synopsis: Nancy Porta Libert 2007)
It was a tubular, spiral-shaped chute into which they jumped, slid quickly down, and flew out through a small door at the front of the building. Imagine, Action Park at school more than a century ago! The girls, however, may not have had quite the fun that the boys did-for many of those years they all wore long, wide skirts!
One of the school's principals, Floyd Hurlbut (1909-1910, and (1911-1917) was never far from his post, living just north of the school in the beautiful, older house which still stands at 54 Union Avenue. Two teachers at the school who are remembered by some of to day's residents are Mary Wildey Rowlinson and Mabel Miles Rhodes, both of whom moved on to the district's newer schools. Mrs. Rhodes retired from the Islip School district in the early 1960's, and Mrs. Rowlinson in 1971.
It serves today as our Town Hall Annex, but does not look like the same beautiful school that once housed Islip's K-12 students until 1964 when the present high school opened. In the mid-1920's, the Monell Avenue School was tom down. It lives on, however, in the fond memories of its surviving students.
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