Schools and students: Education in Orange over the years...
The First District School, now the base of residential dwelling, still stands today at the corner of Old Tavern and Orange Center Rds. [add5/27] Orange's first three schools were established in 1806, even before the town itself was created and by 1873 there were five districts. The map from the 1868 Beers Atlas of New Haven County [click here] shows the four existing school districts at the time. Can you find all the schoolhouse locations?
Second District School. The Elbert Scobie post card is entitled School Under the Hill and pictures it ca. 1900 at what is now the intersection of Ridge Rd. and Old Grassy Hill Rd. When the Orange School was built in 1909, the district schools were sold. This one was moved to a nearby lot and now serves as the second story of a residential home, as seen at right. [add5/27] School children are pictured at middle ca. 1900. [add5/25]
The Third District School is now a residence in its original location at Racebrook Rd. and Woodside Drive. It was once used as a cottage and summer home by Clarence Russell. A front porch and rear portion have been added. [add5/27]
Fourth District School. The snippet from the Beers atlas shows that it was at the northeast corner of Clark Lane and Grassy Hill Rd. The schoolhouse burned after the districts were consolidated in 1909 and no photos have been identified. [add5/27]
The Fifth District School was completed in 1874. Samuel Halliwell and Philander Ferry, proprietors of Tyler City which they promoted with the coming of the New Haven & Derby RR, donated building lots so that 'city' residents would have a place to educate their children. The building was used as a succession of churches after the school districts were consolidated in 1909. The structure is pictured at left in 1945 as the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, an Episcopal missionary outpost of Christ Church, West Haven, and at right is seen today as Our Lady of Sorrows at 378 Spring St.
The Academy building, now a museum and research center, was constructed in 1878 as a meeting house and a high school. In 1967 it became the headquarters of the board of education, as seen in the photo at lower left. Classroom scenes date to the early 1900s. Photo at right shows Mary Rebecca Woodruff seated in the bottom row, second from the left. Later to write the town's only full history in 1949, she is pictured with classmates at her graduation, ca. 1894, in front of The Academy. [adds5/27]
Orange School was established in 1909, consolidating the five district schools. This building contained four classrooms, two grades in each room. Both views are from Orange Center Rd., the one on the right another of Elbert Scobie's postcards.