Skip to content

Home > Events and Programs > Everyone's History > Everyone's History Project Archive > Back to School: Lessons from Norwich's One-Room Schoolhouses

Back to School: Lessons from Norwich's One-Room Schoolhouses

Root District Schoolhouse, 1921-23

One-room schoolhouses are an architectural phenomenon common to many American childhoods as recently as the mid-twentieth century. Historic New England's latest Everyone's History documentary film focuses on the town of Norwich, Vermont, which once had twenty-nine one-room schoolhouses in operation, and is now working to preserve these buildings.

Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse before fire in 1922

Historic New England partnered with Community Access Television (CATV), the Norwich Historical Society, Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Association, and Root District Game Club to collect oral histories from more than a dozen students who attended these schools in the 1930s and ‘40s. Norwich Historical Society contributed more than 100 images from its photographic collection.

Along with the students’ stories, the project highlights the architectural significance of the schoolhouses themselves. Last year, two of Norwich’s one-room schoolhouses, the 1937 Root District Schoolhouse and the 1922 Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse, were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Watch the film below, or buy a DVD to support preservation of the Root District Schoolhouse.


Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Association
Community Access Television
Norwich Historical Society
Root District Game Club

Back to School: Lessons from Norwich's One-Room Schoolhouses