Saint Michael School is built on land previously part of the old Yates County Fairgrounds. The original one acre plot was purchased for $1200.00.
Saint Michael School’s first cornerstone was laid May 14, 1882, by the Rt. Rev. Bernard McQuaid, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester. It is made of Onondaga limestone.
The original school was 37 feet by 61 feet and two stories high. It was built by John Meehan of Canandaigua for $6400.00
Saint Michael School was dedicated on September 1, 1883. Five Sisters of St. Joseph from Rochester, NY made up the little colony sent to Penn Yan at that time. They were: Sister Alcantara Carroll, Sister Isidore McKeon, Sister Felicitas Doran, Sister Seraphine Glavin (taking charge of the school), and Sister Cleophas Grimes (who managed household affairs).
Saint Michael School is an outgrowth of Penn Yan’s first and only Catholic parish, formed in 1850 under the leadership of Rev. Michael Gilbride. However, the first pastor of the school was Rev. Eugene Pagani, who served in that capacity for seventeen years.
In 1954, during the pastorate of Rev. Francis Waterstraat, a six classroom addition was built in the rear of the original school. A campaign goal of $100,000 was set and met for this project.