The Meadtown Schoolhouse
The first Meadtown School was built in 1839 in the fields below Wilton Mead’s house. It served the community until 1873 when a larger, more modern school was built on the property now known as L’Ecole, Kinnelon Museum. This new school’s single room held approximately 40 to 50 pupils. The Meadtown School served the children of the community until 1925, when a new, two-room school built of native stone was constructed. The Meadtown School was also used as a meeting place, including the first organizational meeting of the Borough of Kinnelon. Sunday school classes were also held there.
Around 1930, the little schoolhouse caught the eye of a young medical doctor from New York City, Doctor Helen Miller. Dr. Miller affectionately called the place L’Ecole, the French word for school. At first, Dr. Miller visited L’Ecole as a retreat from her busy practice and clinical work in New York City. By the late 1930’s, her visits became more frequent and she began additions that would turn L’Ecole into her primary residence. As local residents got to know and respect Dr. Miller, they began to appear at her doorstep with their medical problems. As time went by, more and more residents began to see Dr. Miller, convincing her that it was time to establish part of her practice in Kinnelon. In 1954, Dr. Miller added two examination rooms and an office to her home at L’Ecole to keep up with her growing practice. In 1963, she constructed a medical building on adjacent property and encouraged other New York City physicians to practice in this area. Upon her death in 1990, Dr. Miller bequeathed L’Ecole to the Borough of Kinnelon. It was Dr. Miller’s wish that the old schoolhouse would benefit the community that had come to mean so much to her.
From pupils to politicians to patients, L’Ecole has met the needs of local citizens for well over a century. Today, L’Ecole continues to serve the community as a museum chronicling and celebrating our local history and traditions.
The preservation of this historic site has been funded in part by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
The Kinnelon Historical Preservation Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that L'Ecole, Kinnelon Museum was one of 21 historic sites in Morris County to have been awarded a grant from the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund. This grant will be used to rehabilitate some of the building's interior, including utility upgrades.
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