Early Schools

There used to be two schools in Ellis Hollow, one at each end of the Hollow. The Ellis Hollow School (District School No. 10) was built between 1830 and 1853. It was a large one-room school with as many as 20 to 30 children enrolled some years. The school closed in the late 1930s and has since been remodeled into a house (575 Ellis Hollow Creek Road). The swing set from the old Ellis Hollow schoolyard was moved to the old community center for the nursery school and then to the new center where it is still in use, together with a new playground that was built in 1987.


Hibbard's Corners School (District School No. 20) was at the corner of Ellis Hollow and Turkey Hill Roads. It was named after the Hibbard family. This one-room Greek Revival schoolhouse was built about 1840. Warren Ellis Schutt, the first United States Rhodes Scholar, completed the 8th grade at Hibbard's Corners School about 1889. The school closed in 1940. The building served as the community center from 1952 to 1968. It was enlarged in 1974 and was used as the home of the Foundation of Light until their new facility was built in 1999. (The Foundation of Light is a free church whose members are interested in meditation and the wholeness of life.) Today, the schoolhouse is again filled with young students ages 6 through 12. In 1999, Stone Circle School opened its doors to offer the Ithaca community a classical waldorf curriculum



The two old school districts consolidated and became Dryden School District 20. For a dozen years, Ellis Hollow parents contracted with Ithaca to send their children to the city's schools and were taxed according to busing and tuition costs. Grade school children were assigned to whichever school had room - East Hill, Belle Sherman, and even West Hill one year.

In 1956, Ellis Hollow and 41 other out-lying school districts joined the Ithaca schools to form the new consolidated Ithaca City School District. Elementary school children were then assigned to the Belle Sherman Elementary School. When the new Caroline Elementary School opened in 1959, Ellis Hollow children were again divided between two grade schools. Those living west of Turkey Hill/Quarry Road attended the Belle Sherman Elementary School, while those to the east went to the Caroline Elementary School. In 1984 all Ellis Hollow children were assigned to the Caroline School.