Before the Town of Fairfield was incorporated in 1796, there was a schoolhouse for the children of the millers and manufacturers of the bustling community now referred to as Old City. Formerly called Fortune's Mills and Card City, this settlement was on the border of the Towns of Fairfield and Newport, on the roads now called Old City Road and Farrington Road. When Trustees George W. Willis and Melvin A. Chase reported conditions in 1857, it was evident that a new building was needed. This schoolhouse was built in 1810 to replace an earlier one that had burned. There was one room of 20 sq. ft. with benches, two blackboards, and a stove. The wood supply was kept in the entryway and there were no separate privies. There were no shade trees on the site. School was taught for six months in 1856 by Emily J. Harris, Eliza M. Read, and Mary Kelley, in that order. For many years District #4 was shared with the Town of Newport.

The report dated Jan. 1, 1849, filed by Trustees Anson Philips and Joseph W. Lawton, listed the following students and their ages:

Harriet Lawton 10
Levi Lawton 8
Nancy Philips 14
Sidney Carter 15
______ Philips 10
Emmy Rix 15
Homes Boen 10
David Guy 12
Helen E. Lawton 10
Erwin Lawton 8
Emmy Harris 14
Erastus Harris 12
Florilla Davis 13
George More 12
Charlotte Clark 15
Francis Thornton 6
Westley Seaman 5
Martha Seaman 10
Eliza Seaman 8
Mary Thornton 14
Almira Thornton 10
Alma Rix 13

In 1815 District #4 received $18.50 from the Commissioners of Common Schools of the Town of Fairfield for operating expenses.

From District #4 School records.

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

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Created: 6/24/99
Copyright © 1999 Jane Dieffenbacher
Copyright © 1999 Martha S. Magill
All Rights Reserved.