Letter to the Editor

PAINTINGS

Haycock one-room schoolhouses that had hung on the walls of the now-defunct Haycock Elementary school.

Haycock Township most definitely is the remote outlier of the Quakertown Community School District. Non-residents often identify it by our winding back roads, wooded, rocky landscapes and abundant waterways. But it is and has much more than that! Considering the small population, ( just over 2000), we’ve enjoyed a healthy assortment of schools, restaurants, inns and churches, all of which have helped shape our amazing sense of community—all which we are defensively proud of.

So it is understandable when the last of our township’s public schools-- Haycock Elementary, recently closed its doors for the last time, residents were mournful of the loss. We cherish whatever remains of our outstanding public school legacy. This brings to light the issue of the final resting place for a half-dozen paintings of our Haycock one-room schoolhouses that had hung on the walls of the now-defunct Haycock Elementary school. Groups, representing township residents and local historians alike, have approached Quakertown Community School District over the past months, requesting the paintings.

The works were created by Haycock resident and one-room schoolteacher, Florence Fluck. They accurately depict each of our six former schools and are among the few tangible links to Haycock’s unique past. At the time the paintings were placed in Haycock Elementary, it was one of the few suitable public places residents could enjoy viewing them.

Mrs. Fluck was a soft-spoken Mennonite lady who had dedicated a lifetime to teaching in our area’s one-room schools. Many of our older residents had her as their teacher. As a retiree, well in her seventy’s, she began her second career-- lovingly painting that which she was so familiar with. Mrs. Fluck and her paintings may have been forgotten forever were it for the efforts of the Haycock Historical Society and like-minded individuals.

She had depicted each of our former schools in accurate architectural detail, making this historically significant. She had been a stickler for correctness, both as a teacher and artist. Currently, most of Haycock’s one-room schools have been restyled as private homes. Few pictures exist of them as they had once functioned. One of our schools, Hickory Grove, no longer exists at all, having been razed to make way for Nockamixon State Park.

Fluck’s paintings remain the essence of Haycock Township’s historical link to our past. They represent our unique visible history. We want very much for them to remain in Haycock Township where they originated, to be enjoyed by current and future residents.

Recently Quakertown Community School District publicly announced plans to display them at their Milford service center, a location few Quakertown’ians will ever find the reason to visit, much less Haycock Township residents. We view this move as one dedicated to making their historical significance obscure as well as less accessible.

Whether at Haycock Township Municipal Building or Haycock Historical Society’s Museum and headquarters, this organization believes the paintings should remain within our township on public display, where they can be enjoyed by local residents. We have begun a petition gathering the names and addresses of current residents who feel as we do. Readers wishing to sign the petition, may do so by visiting the Haycock Township Municipal building on Harrisburg School Road during regular office hours or by visiting the Haycock Historical Society’s headquarters on Apple Road, Friday’s between 9:00 A.M. & 12:00 Noon.

Respectfully,

Chris Handschin, President

 

 

 

Page last updated: July 22, 2011

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of the Haycock Historical Society is to research and preserve the history of Haycock and to promote and perpetuate public interest and to inform the public generally of the rich heritage of Haycock Township.

Haycock Historical Society
P.O. Box 715
Quakertown Pa 18951
Kringle