St. John’s Industrial School, a Catholic residential school for boys in need of care, was established in Hartford in 1904. An impressive new building for the school, overlooking the Connecticut River, was built in Deep River in 1907-1908. The school was staffed by the Xaverian Brothers, a worldwide teaching congregation, until 1919. An orphanage for boys in Hartford, run Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, moved to the site in Deep River and the Sisters of St. Joseph administered the home and school until 1958. Over the years, many additions were made to the facility, which evolved into a a Home and School for Boys. The residential program closed in June 2013 and in September The Academy at Mount Saint John (135 Kirtland Street, Deep River) reopened as a Clinical Day School.
Among the buildings designed by Theodate Pope Riddle for Avon Old Farms school was an Estate Manager’s House. Located near the Water Tower, Forge and Chapel, the cottage was built c. 1922-1923. With its half-timbering and brick nogging, it resembles the traditional English houses of Sussex and Surrey. It is now known as the Gate House. Read the rest of this entry »
South Windsor’s Union District School was the most modern school building in Connecticut at the time of its construction in 1905. The new school brought together students from three others that once operated along Main Street. Located at 771 Main Street, the former school building, long believed to be haunted, was purchased from the town by the South Windsor Historical Society for $1 in 2002. The Society is currently renovating the long vacant building, which will become a museum of local history and a cultural arts center.
The Greek Revival building on Bethlehem Green that is now an American Legion Hall was built in 1839 as the Townhouse (Town Hall/Town Clerk’s Office Building). On the upper floor was Bethlehem’s Select School, where the best students from the town’s District Schools were selected to come for additional education. The school continued until about 1900. The building once had a tower/steeple, since removed.
Along the town Green in Salem are a number of historic buildings, one of which was built in 1885 as the Central district schoolhouse. In 1938, there were discussions about whether to add to rooms to the existing school or to construct a new building. The latter course was decided on and the nearby three-room Salem School was built in 1940. That building has since been much expanded. The former Center School was later used as a Grange Hall. Read the rest of this entry »
Continuing the theme of the last few days of Catholic institutions in and around West Hartford, today we feature the former Mount St. Joseph Academy at 235 Fern Street (now One Hamilton Heights Drive). It served as a Catholic Girl’s School, run by the Sisters of Mercy, from 1906 to 1978. The Sisters of Mercy also run the nearby St. Mary’s Home for the Aged. The cornerstone of Mount St. Joseph Academy was laid in August 1905 and the school opened for the Fall term in September, 1908. The building was designed in the Georgian Revival style by John J. Dwyer of Hartford and built by William F. O’Neil. In the frieze of the entrance portico are inscribed the words BONATATEM ET DISCIPLINAM ET SCIENTIAH DOCE ME DOMINE (“Teach Me Goodness and Discipline and Knowledge, O Lord”), the school’s motto. When the Sisters of Mercy started St. Joseph’s College in 1932, classes met at the Academy for several years before being transferred to its own campus in West Hartford (now the University of St, Joseph). The former school was renovated in 1996 to become an assisted living facility called Atria Hamilton Heights.
St. Thomas Seminary and Archdiocesan Center is located 467 Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield, just across the town line from West Hartford. A Catholic seminary, it was founded in 1897 by Bishop Michael Tierney. The original Seminary was located at 352 Collins Street in Hartford. Increasing enrollment led to a need for a larger space. Bishop John J. Nilan had the cornerstone laid for the current building on Sunday, September 29 1928. Designed by Louis A. Walsh of Waterbury and built by William F. O’Neil, it was opened on September 29, 1930.