There was a time when you could walk through Connecticut and find schoolhouses scattered across the landscape every few miles.
In the mid-1800s, schoolhouses were located in districts so that a child would not have to walk more than two miles to school. The schools were literally everywhere: in the road, at the edge of the tobacco field, on top of a rocky hill, or next to the meeting house.
Each schoolhouse was made for one teacher to “keep school” for all the neighborhood children aged 7-16. In 1852, there was a count of over 1600 schoolhouses. As the population changed, the school district borders changed, new schools were constructed, or old schools were moved to new locations.
Now in the 21st century, you can still see old Connecticut schoolhouses and imagine what they would have been like in the old times.
Connecticut is blessed with over a hundred renovated and restored schoolhouses which are open to the public thanks to the hard work of the communities and numerous historical societies.
Compare the new photographs with the up to 130-year-old photos to see how the schools and terrain have changed or remained the same through time.
||235 x 165 mm
||15 September 2017
||92 black-and-white and 92 colour photographs
Melinda K. Elliott, who lives in Southbury, Connecticut, first became interested in one-room schoolhouses from her mother's exciting stories of school-room adventures. Melinda is involved in several historical endeavors, including being a director and docent of an 18th century brick schoolhouse. She enjoys historical research and sharing her latest finds through the historical society newsletter, brochures, panel displays, blogs, and a children's book on local history. Melinda and her husband have three children, all living nearby, and several grandchildren to spoil.