The Old Schoolhouse:
A Unique History
Built in 1915, the old schoolhouse, named The Cheshire Union, was constructed as part of a merger of several one-room schoolhouses scattered throughout the Hamlet of Cheshire, NY. This new, consolidated schoolhouse, featured four classrooms on the upper level that were used to teach eight grades and a full basement on the lower level. As years went by and enrollment grew, classes and teachers changed to accommodate the variety of interests of the students at the school.
A full woodworking shop was added to the lower level, the first school band was established in 1936 and choir was also added to the list of options available to students. The Cheshire Union School continued to serve students through the early 1960s. It was at this point the residents of Cheshire petitioned the Board of Education to allow their students the option to attend Canandaigua Elementary or continue their schooling at The Cheshire Union School. The petition was approved and over time, enrollment at The Cheshire Union School decreased along with the number of grades/classes being served.
Ultimately, the school was closed in 1962 and the building remained empty for over two decades before it was sold to John and Barb Rose in 1977.
It was John and Barb that started The Company Store, an eclectic country-store and deli, in the lower level of the schoolhouse.
The upper-level schoolhouse was renovated and the classrooms were converted into The Cheshire Union Gift Shop and Antique Center.
Rusty Brundage inside The Cheshire Union Gift Shop and Antique Center
The building and the businesses within have changed hands a few times since then, with each new owner adding their own flair. The Brundage family purchased the property in 1984 with daughter Mary (Liza) Barnum running the day-to-day operations. Most recently, Benjamin Green, a longtime employee of The Company Store, completed the purchase of the property in late 2018 and runs day-to-day operations with his partner Khrystin Knox.