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Old Stone Schoolhouse


Old Stone Schoolhouse, Coppermine Road

The Old Stone Schoolhouse, at Red Oak Hill and Coppermine roads, was a schoolhouse  from 1790 to 1872. From 1875 to 1956, it was used as a chapel and community center. The building is now owned by the Farmington Historical Society. It is open for tours each summer on Sundays during July and August.

The historical society holds its annual Scarecrow Contest and Fall Festival each fall at the schoolhouse. In 2008, the festival will be held October 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Each year, dozens of children, parents and grandparents enjoy the festival on the lawn of the schoolhouse. In the Scarecrow Contest, awards are presented for the scariest, most stylish, rottenest and happiest. In October 2006, movie tickets and Friendly's gift certificates were awarded to each scarecrow creator.

"Wanda the Witch." Bobbing for doughnuts,
Scarecrow Contest and Fall Festival, 2006

Also in 2006, Peg Yung of the historical society guided children in creating ghost dolls and paper jack-o'-lanterns. Children also received pumpkins donated by the Eaton, Grouten, and Hein family farms. And in a variation on the Halloween game of bobbing for apples, children bobbed for miniature Freihofer doughnuts strung on lines. Youngsters also learned how to construct Colonial-style lanterns from sheets of tins provided by Orca, Inc. Others enjoyed Colonial-era games using wooden hoops and bean bags.

The skeletal remains of the first schoolmaster, Calvin Hatch, made an appearance, and Wanda the Witch, aka Kathy Lescoe of the Barney Library, read from "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." Kathy said about fifty children and parents crowded around her in the small schoolroom to sing Christmas carols with Halloween lyrics and play "Pass the Witch's Broomstick."

There was lots to eat, including homemade desserts, cider and buttered popcorn made from home-grown Tunxis Plantation kernels.

The Village School

by Josephine Canning

Oh, don't you remember the schoolhouse red
Which stood far back on the hill,
And the great oak tree which lifted its head
Close by? It stands there still.
You learned addition in that old place,
And the use of verb and noun;
They have earned you much in life's hard race--
Give some to the dear old town!

You have wandered far from the hearthstone gray
Where your infant feet first trod,
You have walked in many a devious way,
But you worship your father's God.
For you'll never forget the lessons taught,
When at night you all knelt down
In the home that you hold with the tenderest thought,
In your own old native town.

Ah! go when the summer solstice burns,
And your city home is hot,
Go look where the winding river turns
In the green old meadow lot.
Then ask the people what it needs,
And count it life's best crown
To build it up with filial deeds,
Your own dear native town!

--From Collinsville Record, July 15, 1906.
Published in the "Green Book," Farmington, CT:
The Village of Beautiful Homes


Old Stone Schoolhouse Quiz

1. In 1773, the town was divided into:

a) 10 school districts
b) 12 school districts
c) 9 school districts

2. The original name of our museum school was:

a) West District School
b) Red Oak Hill School
c) Mission School
d) Red Stone Schoolhouse

3. The schoolhouse was built about:

a) 1805
b) 1790
c) 1795

4. The first students were:

a) children of farmers
b) children from the Indian reservation
c) both of the above

5. The first class had:
a) 7 pupils
b) 9 pupils
c) 13 pupils

6. Brought to the site on ox-drawn wagons, the stone for the building is:
a) local trap rock
b) local sandstone
c) local granite

7. The delay in constructing the school after the district was designated was caused by:
a) lack of materials
b) the American Revolution
c) lack of funds
d) lack of interest in education

8. The school grew from just a few students to an enrollment of 45 about 1839. More space was provided by:
a) moving some of the younger children to a nearby farmhouse
b) transferring children to another school
c) put on double sessions

9. The first schoolmaster was:
a) Henry Barnard
b) Edward Hooker
c) Calvin Hatch

10. In 1841, teachers were boarded among townspeople who were paid:
a) 21.5 cents a day
b) 35 cents a day
c) 17 cents a day

11. School Committee members who visited schools were paid at the rate of:
a) 75 cents a day
b) $1.75 a day
c) $1.25 a day

12. School Committee members were also paid for the use of their horses during visiting days at a rate of:
a) 25 cents
b) 50 cents
c) 60 cents
d) a bag of hay

13. In 1873, teachers were paid:
a) $8 a week
b) $11 a week
c) $9 a week

14. School Committee members were charged with evaluating:
a) students
b) teachers
c) parents
d) all of the above

15. After the second West District Schoolhouse was built, the little stone building became home for a short time to:
a) a tinsmith
b) a former slave
c) a tannerís shop
d) an Indian family

16. Ages of children in the one room school would range from:
a) 6 to 18
b) 3 to 18
c) 7 to 14
d) 2 to 20

17. From 1875 to the 1950ís, the stone schoolhouse was used as:
a) town offices
b) storage
c) a chapel and community hall
d) a clock shop

18. From 1875 to the 1950ís, the schoolhouse was NOT used for:
a) religious instruction
b) potluck suppers
c) cards and dancing
d) strawberry socials
e) songfests

19. During World War I, women of the community met in the Schoolhouse to:
a) roll bandages
b) knit socks
c) hold air raid drills
d) sell Liberty Bonds

20. While the building was a chapel, it was called:
a) The Mission
b) West District Hall
c) St. Simonís Chapel
d) all of the above


Schoolhouse photo by Brooke E. Martin. Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008

The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034

Site graphics, Copyright © 2006