QR Code Tour #6 - 1838 School House

William Crosby gave the South West Parish land in 1788 for the Common area, the land on the west side of the common and the Elm Street Cemetery. It appears he also gave the town permission to build a little wooden schoolhouse as early as 1788 on the west side of the Common. Two other schools were also built before the incorporation of Milford in 1794 – the Osgood school and the Howard school when the area was still the Southwest Parish or the Third Parish of Amherst. After the incorporation of Milford in 1794 and “the dissolving of the school district” signed by John Shepard Clerk, this wooden school was replaced with a brick building in 1837 on the same location as this wooden school. The wooden building was sold for $50 to Daniel Putnam. $800 was voted for the construction of this new brick school. After only seven years in 1844 this new building was too small. By 1845 it was voted to hire a room in the Congregational Vestry for additional space.   The Brick school was divided into three groups – 12 and over, 8 to 12 and under 8 with this group meeting in the Congregational Vestry. Rent for “use and abuse” of the vestry was $12.34. Finally in 1853 it was voted to build a new brick school on School Street. The old brick building on the oval was sold in 1856 to Isaac Burns.

Other owners after Mr. Burns were James A. Wetherbee in 1858. Mr. Wetherbee enlarged the old school building, making it wider and adding a third story. He also added a 30’ by 15’ two story projection on the rear of the building over the river in 1876. The street floor was divided with Mr. Wetherbee have a grocery store in one half and “The Eating Place” in the other half run by James’ brother William. This building has also been used over the years as a saloon, the Milford Camera Club occupied the building from 1896 to 1915, New Hampshire Liquor Store, A Flower Shop, and Arthur’s Barber Shop.

— Polly Cote
Milford Historical Society Historian

Sources –
The Granite Town History by Winifred Wright
A Brief History of the Public Schools of Milford 1738 – 1972 Edith Hunter

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