Incredibly, the oldest wooden school in the United States, which is still standing, was a Greek school operated by Greek immigrants.
Built in the very historic city of St. Augustine, Florida, which was originally settled by Spanish colonists in the 1500s, the wooden clapboard schoolhouse amazingly still stands today, despite the ravages of time and the annual onslaught of powerful hurricanes.
Immigrants to the United States have always ranked the teaching of the Greek language as one of their top priorities ever since leaving Greece to look for new life prospects abroad. And it was no different even back in the late 1700s, when Greeks first came to Florida with plans to settle permanently there.
The very first Greeks to arrive in the Americas with the intent to stay came in 1768, founding a town they named New Smyrna in the colony of Florida. They were led there by a Scottish doctor called Andrew Turnbull and his wife, Marica Gracia, the daughter of a Greek businessman who hailed from Smyrna.
Years later, in the spring of 1776, just as the Declaration of Independence was being signed in Philadelphia, Greek and other migrants began settling 70 miles to the north of New Smyrna, in the old city of St. Augustine.