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Monday, April 9, 2012

Sleighton Farms School

        I want to talk about a historic sight that me and many others treasure. This school has been closed down for about ten years and is currently for sale at $14 million. This is located on Valley Road in both Edgmont and Middletown townships. I myself am a huge fan of this. This campus contains beautiful historic buildings buildings with amazing architecture and many beautiful trees and plants. If you are into any of that, this place contains it all. This can be visited by pretty much anybody, but please don't vandalize the place, which many others already do.
        Sleighton School originally opened in 1910, relieving the House of Refuge. This was designed as a community and school for troubled girls, to help change their lives around. Most the land was donated to make this school possible. This was also a farm school so many girls did farm related things and got an education there. I'm not quite sure how anything changed from then on to the closing, but I know it became co-ed in 1985. The school eventually closed in 2001, due to financial reasons. I believe Elwyn managed the school beginning somewhere in the 90's. I know the school is up for sale now for $14 million, but I'm not sure what the plans are for it yet if there even are any.
      Now here I go with the reason I created this blog. I want people to know about what I call a historic landmark. For people like me who love historic buildings and nature, you really need to go here. There really is no law enforcement or security that I know of, so anybody can come here anytime pretty much. Just I recommend you stay out of buildings and all that because they are dangerous. Remember too that vandalism is a crime. This is great for people of all ages too, just as long as you don't attend to vandalize. And I believe that if more adults with good intentions go, the vandalism will stay away.
      Let me talk about the condition of these buildings. Right now, the school is in restorable condition. Most of these buildings look great from the outside at least. These were made to last. Many of these are stone buildings, and whoever built these did an amazing job. The problem is, more and more kids are going and not all, but most of them are destroying these buildings. There are also copper strippers who are doing there share of the damage. Then of course you got mother nature, doing her share. Vines damage the exteriors and humidity/temperature changes damage the interiors. There is also some water damage. That's why I wish they did a better job keeping this place up.
       Now what happens to the place now? To be honest, I hope something happens soon before these buildings fall beyond repair. My biggest fear though, and something likely, is that some developer will buy this, cut down all the trees, level the buildings, and build houses. I'm doing everything i could to help eliminate that possibility, which this blog is one of them, awareness. Maybe someone will see this blog and decide to buy this place and restore it. If anybody wants to help save this place or have any ideas on how, I would be happy to hear. Time is running out for Sleighton. Remember that once these buildings are gone, they're gone forever. You can't bring architects back from the dead.
       My dream for this place is to first of all, have the property cleaned up and have every building restored, to look the way they used to. Then I would like to see it become a school again, or even just a community for troubled youths, or for everybody. Restoring these wouldn't be a ridiculous price either. Between the potential volunteers, land grants, and donations, the cost wouldn't be as steep as some may think. Remember too the structure of these buildings are in great shape. My biggest dream is just for this to be saved, these buildings are too beautiful to be destroyed. 
     Now like I said, I'm really into to this stuff so if somebody has stories or anything, share. And if you want to help spread awareness, share my blog. There is also a wonderful facebook page called Sleighton Farms Views , dedicated to the same thing as this. And also, if you want to help save it too, go do what you want to do or contact me about it. If you want to email me, it's michael8dan5@yahoo.com.

       You have to check this out yourself to get the full experience, but here's some pictures courtesy of Sleighton Farms Views. There are many more and they're still coming. Also, check out Chuck Van Horn's facebook for historic images.

Check out my newest post on the development plan:  http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2013/05/beginning-of-end-for-sleighton-5413.html
                                                               Chapel
 
                                                    Original Farm House, the oldest building.
                                                      Falconer School House, trashed by vandalism, a shame.
                                        Sundial in sunken gardens, i was unable to find this myself.
                                          Powerhouse for water tower, located under it.
                                                           Green House
      
Here are just a few historic ones. Check out Chuck Van Horn's facebook for about 100 more!





There's a new follow up post here: http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2012/08/sleighton-farm-school-follow-up.html  for anyone interested.

11/5/12 Check out my new post for more pics and info:  http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2012/11/sleighton-update-11512_5.html

18 comments:

  1. Awesome.....there are also photo's uploaded on FLICKR by someone else, too.

    Another blogger uploaded her images.....I believe it is Road Less Traveled.....

    BD

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  2. There's a new follow up post on this blog about Sleighton for anyone interested

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  3. Honored that you used many of my images of the Sleighton Farms that I took this past spring, 2012. Now I am trying to get images of the old oak trees with their acorns while they still hang onto their branches. Some of those old trees are so grand and impressive.

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  4. If you want to see a nice tree there's an impressive sycamore tree on the other side between two other abandoned house, one has a six foot ceiling. If you go there look out for the farmer though, I almost got caught by him. Also look out for the cops, they patrol the property in the school side.

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    1. looks are deceiving as an ex resident of sleighton farms I can say that. check the history. That place has a lot of bad memories for people.

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    2. Batteanna Green, it almost seems like the school changed at a certain period of time. Talking to people that were there in like the 50s-early 70s most refer to it as a good and rewarding experience. After that I found that sleighton seemed more like prison in the more modern times, and I've heard that glen mills school is pretty bad too. Maybe it was the transition from a farm school to a regular juvenile school.

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    3. I went to this school. And from personal expierience it was about a 50/50 with me depending on who was working with what dormitory.at night time us girls had a view of the backyard and at night you would see great big bats flying around .and thank god they gave most of us trazadone otherwise we wouldn't be able to sleep . It was a co-ed place but we really didn't have too much interaction with the boy dormitory other than playing games such as soccer or going to school.

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  5. Children's prison run a muck

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  6. Check out my newest post on the development plan: http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2013/05/beginning-of-end-for-sleighton-5413.html

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  7. I was in Sleighton from 12/21/67 until 8/20/69. What happened to all of the little dongens they had when they put the girls in when they didn't listen. I could tell you stories you would not believe. Ms. Ambrose worked ther along with her short partner (for got name) remember Ambrose because she was so large (about 7" tall). I was 13 when I was in ther and left when i was 15. I am now 59, long time ago. All I did to go their was run away and stold clothes because I didn't have any & my mother did not want me. She only wanted me to watch her other 4 kids. Well if anyone has to share any thing my e-mail is rrockmore@northamptoncounty.org. When I was their there were also some deaths. The dum waiter was also a neat feature in LM II on the second floor to dispense the food. I hope some one from that time remembers and gets in touch me. Thanks for letting me share.

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    1. Hello,

      I worked at Sleighton the summer of '69. I was only 19 years old. What I saw at Sleighton affected me deeply. I thought the ways the young people were treated was extremely harsh and unnecessary. Many, if not most, of the girls at Sleighton, should never have been there.

      I also worked at Sleighton for a short time after graduating from college. I have to say that I got to know many of the girls very well and poured everything I could into helping them move through the experience and do the best they could with their lives.

      Henrietta died in a fire in 1971 (or 1972)that she set when she was restricted to LMII. Very terrible situation

      I hope you are doing ok now.

      Wanted to let you know that the short partner's name was Joyce Neil. You may remember my Mother, Mary Ellen Kirk. I know she treated all the young people with kindness and respect.

      Peace,
      Ann Marie

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    2. AUGUST 2013

      ANN MARIE: Please....get in touch with me by email.

      BABS562@gmail.com

      I am hoping you may be local....or we can talk in more details....in private.

      I was just there last night. Check out my facebook page for images..... Sleighton Farm Views.

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  8. Jnetlh@yahoo.com..
    Beautiful stone architecture. Like this stuff too! Guess I'm not the only one into older things. Hope it's not demolished.

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    1. NO YOU ARE NOT.....check out my facebook page for more images in albums.....sleighton farm views.

      if you know anyone that ever worked there or went there....let me know. have a wonderful day.

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    2. I was confined to sleighton farms in 1991-92 also for running away from abuse of every kind. If you were there durring that time or any time please email me at batteanna34@gmail.com. my name is tamara g. you can also respond to this post

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  9. just so everyone knows, this property is owned by Elwyn. it is patrolled by security as well as state police and is private property. chances are you will be changed for trespassing if you are found in the property.

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  10. I WORKED AT SLEIGHTON FARMS FOR THREE YEARS RIGHT BRFORE THEY CLOSED. WE HELPED ALOT OF TEENAGES GET THEY LIVES TOGETHER.MY NAME IS MS LEEAND I HAVE FOND MEMORIES FROM THAT PLACE.

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  11. Ms.karren do u remember me I am Nicole conti. I was the little girl who cried a lot about being there.

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