HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PASCO COUNTY
The Sand Pond School
This page was last revised on July 22, 2012.
Students in this area earlier attended the Lake Buddy School.
The photo above, courtesy of a local researcher, shows the earlier Sand Pond School in the early 1920s. The building was a clapboard building which was in use as early as 1911. It was located where The Gardens Nursery is now located (2009) on the west side of Fort King Road just south of the intersection with Bozeman Road. According to a local resident, the building was used 6 to 10 years. Eula Goldsby was one of the teachers. Philmon, Wendell, J. J. Delmer and Garnet LeHeup were some of the students.
On Oct. 10, 1917, the Tampa Morning Tribune reported, “The school at Sand Pond opened Monday morning with a good attendance, Miss Sylvia Ingalls being the teacher.”
On Oct. 3, 1918, the Zephyrhills Colonist reported: “Sand Pond school will commence Monday Oct. 7th with Miss Gladys Osborne as teacher.”
A 1969 newspaper article by Alice Hall reported:
During the 1969 Founders' Days Festival thoughts of many pioneer area residents backtracked down memory lane to the one-room schoolhouse which was for many years a landmark on historic Fort King Road.
On Sept. 3, 1926, the Dade City Banner reported in a column of Sand Pond news items, “Another school term has opened and most of the children are glad to get back in school. Wendell LeHeup is driving the school bus from the Sand Pond district to Dade City. There will be 25 children in school from this district.”
On July 28, 1933, the Dade City Banner reported, “Work has been started on the new school house at Sand Pond, north of the site of the former school building. The new building will be well-constructed and is expected to be large enough for the needs of the community for some time to come. It is located on the east side of the Fort King highway at foot of LeHeup hill. The community is planning a picnic to celebrate the completion of the school house, and wondering how many of the old ‘Sand Pond gang’ can be brought together for the event.” According to a local researcher, the new school was about one-quarter mile north of the former location.
On Oct. 13, 1933, the Dade City Banner reported:
Following a report that an effort had been made to burn the new school building at Sand Pond, Mr. Dowling began a thorough check on the activities of strangers in this section. With the sale of several lead pencils as a possible clue, he proceeded to get on the trail of a man and his two sons who were tramping their way through the county. An arrest was made Tuesday morning in the Slaughter community where the trio had stopped to camp, and a search brought to light crayons, crayolas and similar evidence. One of the boys gave their family name as Willis and said that they were from Thomasville, Georgia. They admitted having spent a night at the Sand Pond school house, but denied having attempted to set it on fire. Inconsistencies in their story, however, together with evidence of desecration of the building was sufficient to justify the sheriff in holding them for trial.
On Sept. 4, 1936, the Dade City Banner reported that Mrs. Lottie Cripe was appointed to teach at the Sand Pond School.
When Sand Pond School closed, about 1941 or 1942, the property reverted to the original grantor to the School Board, in accordance with the conditions of that original grant. Med (Schuyler Meadows) Gaskin and his wife Mae Stanley Gaskin purchased the land and school building about 1942 and used it as a home. They also bought the building (only) that was the Prospect School, razed it, and used the material to enlarge their home.
The old building is located on the Gaskin property at the bottom of the south side of LeHeup Hill and on the east side of Fort King Road.