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Ringing the Bell: Revisiting the One-Room Schoolhouse

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GROTON — The Groton Historical Society will host a program titled “Ringing the Bell: Revisiting the One-Room Schoolhouse” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8, at the old Chicopee Schoolhouse No. 7. The guest speaker will be Susan Fineman, who will talk about the advantages of preserving our remaining schoolhouses and illustrate how it is being accomplished nationwide.

Fineman is a former teacher and administrator who served the city of Lowell for 31 years. After she retired, Fineman became the “schoolmarm” of the District No. 1 Schoolhouse in Nashua, N.H., where she offers living history programs to all fourth graders in the Nashua, Hollis, Bedford and Hooksett public schools. She serves on the board of directors of the Country School Association of America, which is dedicated to the preservation of schoolhouses within the United States.

Chicopee School is that little red-brick schoolhouse located on the south side of Chicopee Row about two miles up from Main Street. Chances are you’ve passed it numerous times and thought, “Gosh, that looks like a one-room schoolhouse. ”

Well, you were right.

Originally known as Chicopee School No. 7, that little red (brick) schoolhouse was constructed in 1833 by Captain Peter Nutting to replace a frame building, known as the Sawtell School, on or near where the school stands today.

Currently Chicopee School is being rewired and a security and fire alarm system is being installed. It is hoped that elementary school children in the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District will soon have an opportunity to visit a recreation of the educational experience of their counterparts in the 19th century.

“Ringing the Bell: Revisiting the One-Room Schoolhouse” is free and open to the public.

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