Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

Guilford Institute (1855)

Monday, February 19th, 2018 Posted in Guilford, Italianate, Schools | No Comments »

The stone building at 120 North Fair Street in Guilford was used as a school from 1855 until 1936. It was established as the Guilford Institute, as related in The History of Guilford, Connecticut (1877), by Ralph D. Smith:

Mrs. Sarah Griffing, widow of Hon. Nathaniel Griffing, deeded August 21, 1854, to E. Edwin Hall, Henry W. Chittenden, Simeon B. Chittenden, Alvan Talcott, Abraham C. Baldwin, Ralph D. Smith and Sherman Graves (who had been created a body politic under the name and style of The Trustees of the Guilford Institute), a piece of land situated in Guilford, as also the sum of ten thousand dollars, “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a school in said Guilford of a higher order than the district or common school.” She states, in the deed, “whereas my wish is that the said school should in no sense be regarded as a sectarian institution but be open alike to all who wish to enjoy its advantages, and on the same terms, yet as it must necessarily be under some government and control, and as more harmony will be likely to prevail if all the directors or trustees are of the same religious views, my wish is that they should be of the denomination to which I belong, to wit, of the Congregational order and of that class designated and known at the present day as Orthodox or Trinitarian, of which the pastor of the First church in Guilford shall always be one, should he hold such religious views or belief.” She also expresses the wish that “the Bible should always be used in said school as the foundation of all education for usefulness or happiness.”

To this donation was added another of ten thousand dollars, by Hon. Simeon B. Chittenden, Brooklyn, N. Y., October 12th, 1855.

The corner stone of the building for the accommodation of the institute was laid September 13, 1854, on which occasion an address was delivered by Rev. T. D. P. Stone of the Normal school at Norwich, Conn. The building being completed, the first term of the institute was opened September 3, 1855, with suitable public exercises, and addresses by Rev. E. Edwin Hall, S. B. Chittenden, and others.

In September 1872, by an arrangement with the Union school district of Guilford, its scholars were admitted to the privileges of the institute free. In 1875 the institute failing to receive any interest on certain bonds constituting their investments, the trustees gave permission to the union district to occupy the building for a high school, which arrangement continues to the present time.

In 1886, the Guilford Institute became a taxpayer-funded free public high school. The building continued as the high school until 1936 when a new Guilford High School was built (now used as a middle school since the current high school building opened in 2015). The former Guilford Institute building was then vacant for time, but later was the home of The Shoreline Times newspaper for twenty years. After being left vacant again in 2008, the building was recently converted into condominiums called The Lofts at Griffing Square

Distinct School No. 3, Glastonbury (1820)

Monday, February 12th, 2018 Posted in Glastonbury, Greek Revival, Houses, Schools | No Comments »

The two-family residence at 52-54 Hubbard Street in Glastonbury was built in 1820 as a one-room schoolhouse. It was used as the town’s District School No. 3, called the Green School because it served students from the area of Hubbard Green. It became a private residence in 1934. When it was used as a school, there was a small bell-tower on the west (left) end, where there were also two doors next to each other instead of the current two doors at opposite ends.

North West Center School, Guilford (1848)

Thursday, January 11th, 2018 Posted in Greek Revival, Guilford, Houses, Schools | No Comments »

Guilford‘s North West Center School, a one-room school house, was built in 1848. It originally had a columned portico with three steps leading up to the entrance. It served as a school until a consolidation of schools in town in 1871. An agricultural class was taught here in 1922, but the building, located at 85 Fair Street, is now a private home. It once sat further back on its lot, but was then moved closer to the street. The bay windows are also a later addition.

St. Joseph’s School (1907)

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 Posted in Renaissance Revival, Schools, Windham | No Comments »

The building at 21 Valley Street in Willimantic was built in 1907 as a school by St. Joseph Catholic Parish. As described in A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut, Vol. I (1920)

The school was established by the late [Rev.] Florimond DeBruycker, and he was the first principal, taking a constant and devoted interest in the work, from the beginning in 1878 until his death in 1902.

The first school sessions were held in April, 1878, with six Sisters of Charity of Tilburg, Holland, in charge. Sessions were held in the basement of the church for the boys and in the convent (now the Nurses’ Home) for the girls. The number of children increased so rapidly that another building was erected two years later on Valley Street, which remained in use until torn down in 1907 to make room for a more pretentious structure.

Today, St. Mary-St. Joseph School is located next door, at 35 Valley Street. The former St. Joseph School building has most recently been used as an adult education center.

Keeney Schoolhouse (1751)

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 Posted in Manchester, Schools, Vernacular | No Comments »

The Keeney Schoolhouse in Manchester was built around 1751 on Keeney Street. Little is known of its subsequent history until 1975, when the Town’s Bicentennial Committee voted to restore the building and relocate it to the grounds of the Cheney Homestead to become a museum, furnished and maintained by the Manchester Historical Society. The former schoolhouse had long been used as a farm building by that point and was in such a deteriorated condition that a restoration was not possible. Instead a replica was constructed, complete with rounded ceiling. It was rebuilt utilizing as much material from the original structure as possible.

Guilford Academy (1794)

Monday, November 20th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Schools | No Comments »

For sixty years the First and Fourth Congregational Societies in Guilford each maintained their own schoolhouse, located next to each other on the Green. These were then combined into one building of two stories, erected in 1794. The building was moved from the Green to its current location, at 19 Church Street, in 1827. It then housed a secondary school, called the Guilford Academy (aka high school), on the upper floor. As related in A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original town of Guilford, Connecticut (1897), by Bernard Christian Steiner:

In 1837 the [town’s center school] district was divided into four parts and school houses built in the northeast and southwest districts, the northwest district occupying a part of the academy, the upper part of which building was occupied in 1838 by Mr. Dudley as a high school.

The academy closed in 1856, after the Guilford Institute (which would later become the high school) opened. The former Academy building then became a private residence. The front porch was most likely added around that time.

Hebron Center School – American Legion Hall (1883)

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Hebron, Organizations, Schools | No Comments »

The American Legion Hall at 18 Main Street in Hebron was built in 1883 as the town’s Center School (District No. 1). A two-room schoolhouse, it replaced an earlier one-room Center Schoolhouse that burned down in the Great Fire of 1882. Because it was the largest school in town at the time, students from one-room schoolhouses in Hebron that were closing in the 1930s were transferred to the Center School. The building was in use as a school until 1949 and then was transferred to the American Legion.