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History of the Minisink Elementary School

Minisink Elementary School has a current enrollment of 445 students in grades K-2. There are 7 sections of kindergarten, 1 transitional kindergarten, 7 sections of 1st grade, and 7 sections of 2nd grade.

The above depiction of our school was created when Minisink was new. At that time, 1958, the entire school was K-12, with two divisions: K-6 on the right and 7-12 on the left. In the 1960's, a Middle School wing was added. In the 1970's, a separate High School was built. A separate Middle School (6-8) was build in the 1990's and an Intermediate division was created. Today, the Elementary (K-2) still occupies the right side of the original building with the Intermediate (3-5) on the left.

Minisink Valley Elementary School is one of five schools in the Minisink Valley Central School District,Minisink High School, Minisink Middle School, Minisink Intermediate School, Minisink Elementary School, and Otisville Elementary School. Our district was formed in the late 1950s. Although we were one of the last central school districts to form in the state of New York, we are one of the largest in area covered(145 square miles). There are close to 4200 students in our school, with almost 600 students in our building alone. Located in the western side of the Mid-Hudson River Valley of New York State in Orange County, we are about 55 miles Northwest of New York City, located on US Rt 6, 4 miles west of Middletown, NY

Our school's name comes from the Native American's word for this place, Minisink. Our lands were first occupied by Algonquin Nation members of the Lenni Lenape. Europeans called these Native Americans the Delawares because they lived near the Delaware River ( the river's name was derived from Lord de la Warr, first Governor of the Virginia Colony ). The Minisink was an area that bordered both sides of the upper Delaware River, from the Delaware Water Gap to beyond the city of Port Jervis, NY. The territory extended about 40 miles on each side of the river. Lenape legend tells us that they came to this area from west of the Mississippi. As they migrated east, they encountered the Mengwe (Iroquois), however the paths of these two great peoples were blocked by a warlike nation called the Allegewi. The Allegewi allowed part of the migrating tribes to cross the Mississippi and then attacked them. In order to survive, the Lenape and Mengwe joined forces to totally destroy the Allegewi. Some historians believe the Allegewi were the mysterious Mississippi Basin Mound-Builders. The Lenape and Iroquois went their separate ways. The Iroquois to the south and Lenape to the Delaware River Valley and Mohicannituck (Hudson River Valley). [Later, we know that 5 of the Mengwe tribes moved to the central New York area and created the legendary Iroquois Confederacy.] The Minsi tribe was a branch of the Lenapes. These were the main settlers of the area known as the Minisink.. Today, parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania claim ownership to the original Minisink. There are various locations named Minisink, such as Minisink Ford, The Minisink Revolutionary War Battle Site, Minisink Patent (treaty for settlement of western Orange County , NY in 1704), and the Town of Minisink. Of these locations, the Town of Minisink is the only area related to our school. Besides the Town of Minisink, our school takes in the towns of Greenville, Mount Hope, and most of Wawayanda. [Minisink Valley Historical Society, Maps of the Minisink, Shawnee-Minisink Archaeological Site]

For decades, our area had been primarily agricultural. The dairy farm was the livelihood of most of our residents. Milk, cheese, and winter ice fed a huge New York City appetite. In recent years, that type of life style has been rapidly declining. The many small dairy farms have given way to housing developments. Although our area is changing, there still remains a few dairy farms and some horse farms. We are a favorite relocation site for many New York Metropolitan transplants. For all the changes, it remains rural and a very pleasant place to live.