The original location of the schoolhouse in this district was on the east side of Hardscrabble Road, opposite the cemetery. It became known as the Hardscrabble School. In 1857 the trustees were Joseph W. Lawton and Hiram B. Ellis. The schoolhouse was a wood frame building erected in 1815, one room, 26 x 20 ft., with two blackboards, a stove, and no attached woodhouse. The trustees reported its condition as "bad enough". The children were seated around the walls of the classroom. When asked how the children received pure air in the classroom, the trustees responded, "on all sides by the open cracks and holes."

The children who received their early education under the primitive conditions described in 1857 were the children of the following parents. The number of children in each family follows the parents' names:

George Johnson 4
Benjamin Richards 3
G.W. Phillips 2nd 3
Alvah Tanner 1
Enoch P. Stickney 5
Hiram B. Ellis 1
J.W. Lawton 2
Joseph Bushnell 4
William Morse 1

Following are the parents of 1842:

Enos P. Stickney 2
D.S. Chittenden 2
J.W. Lawton 1
Elijah B. Gage 3
Joseph Bushnell 3
Wm. Jackson 4
Archibald Ries 1
David Raynor 3
Alvah Tanner 1
Randolph Evans 2
Asa Chatfield 1
Benjamin Richards 3
Thomas Vosser 1
James M. Smith 1
Sylvanus Holsey 2

The situation at the Hardscrabble School was better around 1910 when Florence Fitch (1890-1944) was the teacher. Florence graduated in 1907 from the Teachers' Training Class in the old Middleville High School.

In 1915 there were 200 books in the library, healthful and decent privies, 22 seats, and a flag. Three trees were planted on Arbor Day and the teachers were Reba Reese and Alice Lynch.

The Hardscrabble School was later replaced with a new school in a new location, the corner of Rath Road and Sandy Lane.

Following are some of the teachers: (not a complete list)

Jerome Smith 1877
Wm. S. Murray 1880
Dwight A. Silliman 1883
N.D. Smith 1884
Byran J. Harter 1885, 1887
Geo. H. Norris 1888
Hattie M. Bishop 1889
Mary A. Jennings 1890
Belle Hall 1890, 1891
Hattie M. Bishop 1892
Cora E. Phillips 1893
Louella Duncan 1893, 1894
R.H. Petrie 1894

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

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Created: 2/26/99
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Jane Dieffenbacher
Copyright © 1999 Martha S. Magill
All Rights Reserved.