Berne School No. 3

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Interior of the Berne schoolhouse 3 along with the teacher "Mrs. Tingue, Johnny, (John Pelepzuck, Jr.) and Josie (Josephene Stephanowitz?)".
1937 picture from the collection of Nichole Pelepzuck Cross


A half mile north of the Rensselaerville town line on Lot 401 on West Mountain.


Due to the location of this school so close to the Renssesselaerville - Berne town line, this school was jointly operated by the Towns of Rensselaerville and Berne.

It would be a careful but educated guess to say that the school started sometime between 1795 and the very early 1800's. Being situated on lot 401a it is safe to say the land was donated by John Crosby and John Crosby Jr. who occupied lot 401 in the year 1795 to the mid 1850's. Even though the Town of Berne was set off from Rensselaerville in 1795 it seems this school continued to be referred to as a Berne and Rensselaerville District even into the last years of its operation. Students from both townships attended this school well into the 1930's.

This school had many district numbers and names over many decades it was in operation. In addition to being the Berne school No. 3, it was also the Rensselaerville District School No. 23. (In 1816 this school was known as # 12 Berne.)

The school also bore other names such as Peasley School for the Peasley family living nearby. Blanche H. Peasley was the Enumerator in the early 30's and Wallace A. Peasley the Trustee in 1936. It was also called the Baptist Church School due to it's proximity to the early Baptist Church, and West Mountain School on it's insurance policy.[1]. The label "West Mountain School" as referred to in the History of the Town of Rensselaerville, People made it Happen Here, by way of an insurance policy is believed to be inaccurate and referencing not this school but another that existed close to the town line, District #19.

Misnumbered on the 1866 Beers map of Berne.

In 1933 this school was District #3 Town of Berne and Rensselaerville, Supervisory District #2. with Blanche Peasley as the Enumerator. This information was taken from the original school census of 1933.

The school was disolved on July 15, 1944. Falling down in 1976, the building is now gone.

From School Census August 30, 1933:

District no. Three Town of Berne and Rensselaerville. Supervisory district no. Two Albany County, J. Edward Smith District Superintendent. Trustee Herman Malin of Rensselaerville. Enumerator Blanche H. Peasley. Rensselaerville. According to this school Census / register all students in the district, from birth to 18 were enumerated. They are as follows: Theodore Apanasowich, Henry Malin, Richard Malin, John Pelepzuck Jr. Josephine Stephanawitz, Elizabeth Salzer, Joseph Salzer, Richard Weidman, George Pelikan Jr.


1932 - 1933: Elizabeth M. Rivenburg (b. 3/25/1900)
1936-37 school years: Rose Tingue and Loretta O'Brien


On September 4th of 1933 District no. Three had two students registered: Malin, Richard and Pelepzuck, John both in grade 3. The Pelepzuck family lived just up the hill to the NW from the school, land now belongs to NYS. Malin's lived on Peasley Road, what is now the first house on the right, just across the Berne - Rensselaerville town line. Teacher Elizabeth Rivenburg is said to have traveled from Rensselaerville, up Gravatt Road to the School.

1933 - Apanasowich, Theodore; Malin, Henry and Richard; Pelepzuck, John Jr; Stephanwitz, Josephene; Salzer, Elizabeth and Joseph; Weidman, Richard; Pelikan, George Jr.[2]

1936 - Pelepzuck, John Jr and Stephanowitz, Josephene.[3]1936 school census.

Addition Media


  1. People Made It Happen Here, History of the Town of Rensselaerville ca. 1788-1950, Published 1977
  2. 1933 school census.
  3. 1933 school census.