In the northeast corner of the Town of Fairfield, where the Military Road passes through, was the one room schoolhouse of District #1. When a school was built near the boundary lines of a town, it was usually shared by the neighboring towns, in this case, Norway and Salisbury. This school was called by various names in different time periods. It was known as the Ayres District, the LaRue District, and the Sandy Lane School.

Trustees of school districts were required by the state to fill out annual reports. Copies of these reports were filed with the county and repose in the county archives. It is interesting to note the different forms required as the years passed. The forms became more complex and the questions asked reflected the concern of the times for changing health issues and educational requirements.

Following are some lists of names from different years in district #1. In January 1856 the trustees were Moses Rice and William Avery. They reported that during the preceeding year school was taught 2 months by a male teacher and 4 months by a female.

Parents from Fairfield    Number of children:

Hiram Ayres 3
Horace Nichols 1
William Nichols 1
Warren Buck 4
Bennoni Heminway 1
Richard Bishop 1
Robert Barr 1

Parents from Salisbury:

Moses Rice 4
William Avery 3
Widow Jane Potter 6
Cyrus P. Avery 2

Parents from Norway:

Francis H____ 5
John Hughes 2

The report of 1857 gives a description of the schoolhouse. It was built in 1826, one room 20 x 30 feet. It had one blackboard and was heated by a stove. Fresh air was supplied by sliding the windows from the top. The school site was 33 square feet and there was no fence. Total value was given as $200. There were separate privies and a wood house.

In 1879 Michael Kelhi of Norway was the trustee and the teachers were paid $5 per week. Two teachers were employed; Maggie McEvoy worked from October 1878 to January 1879 and D.E. Murphy worked from May to Sept. 1879.

Town of Residence, Parents, Children, Ages:


Michael Kelhi
John Kelhi 15
Will Kelhi 12

Ed. Cramer
Hannah Cramer 13
Stephen Cramer 5
Mary Cramer 9

James Cramer
Kate Connell 20


Lawrence LaRue
Charles LaRue 9

Simon Eustace
Katie Brown 13

Charles Nichols
Charlotte Stephens 9

Richard Bishop
Webster Bishop 17
Roberta McLoughlon 18

Mr. Erwin
George W. Irwin 7

John Collins
John Collins 9
Mary C. Collins 7

William Avery
Fred Avery 18


Stephen Comstock
Herbert Rice 9

In the report of 1891 we learn that the schoolhouse was on a crossroad (Sandy Lane and Military Road), the outside privies were separated by a wall 4 x 7 feet high, and that there was a fence separating the approaches. Teachers wages had gone to $5.50 for the fall term and $6.00 for the spring term. Simon Eustace was the trustee. Arbor Day was observed on the last Tuesday in May when three trees were planted on the school grounds. No children were vaccinated that year.

Town of Residence, Parents, # of Children

Simon Eustace 4
George Allen 2
John Connors 3
Henry Johnson 2
Seymor Bishop 4
George DeHart 0
Michael Kelhi 2

Stephen Comstock 0
Robert Barr 0
Moses Avery 2

Edmund Cramer 4

The last report filed in the county archives was for 1915.

There is a portion of an old tattered record from district #1 dated March 1797. The names of the following students are legible:

Lydia Benchley
Johnson Benchley
Eaton Benchley
Asa Richardson
Mindwell Richardson
Josiah Green
J. W. Remington
Nathaniel Remington
Haroit Redfield
Jerusha Redfield
Joseph Knapp
David Bucklin

Source: written by Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian, from the county archives, home of the reports filed each year.

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Created: 1/10/99
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Jane Dieffenbacher
Copyright © 1999 Martha S. Magill
All Rights Reserved.