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Lessons from Norwich’s One-Room Schoolhouses

One-room schoolhouses are an architectural phenomenon common to many American childhoods as recently as the mid-twentieth century. Historic New England’s 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.

Historic New Englandpartnered 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.

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About This Project

Preserving historic one-room schoolhouses

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.

More to Explore

See other Everyone's History projects on New England life in the 20th century and beyond.

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For more stories of Vermont History, visit the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury.

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Become a member and tour Historic New England properties for free.

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