OUR SCHOOLS
by Ralph L. Sheridan and David Griffin

The territory now known as the Town of Maynard, Massachusetts, was originally parts of the towns of Sudbury and Stow, and being situated on the outskirts, the inhabitants were remote from schools.. Educational privileges, like those of a religious nature, were for years only to be obtained by exposure and effort. in Sudbury, prior to 1700 they were very scant; and, when, a little later a school was established on each side of the river (Sudbury river), the children living remote from the centers would naturally be at a disadvantage. But as the years advanced, privileges increased. in 1701, the town "voted and chose John Long and John Balcom" who were to "teach children to rede and wright and cast accounts". By April 17, 1719, the town was called upon "to see if it will grant the northwest quarter of the town's petition, they desiring the school-masters some part of the time with them". Among the teachers who early taught in town was John Balcom. As the family of Henry Balcom, of Charlestown, moved to the northwest part of Sudbury about 1685, it is probable that this family furnished one of the town's early schoolmasters.

In 1779 Sudbury voted to build a new schoolhouse in the "Northwest corner of the town" (now Maynard), and to appropriate two old schoolhouses for the erection of a new one. The northwest portion of Sudbury (now in Maynard), was, it is supposed, a school district for at least one hundred and fifty years. 

On the Stow side of the villlage school privileges were perhaps even more meager in the early times than on the Sudbury side, its settlements being on a later date. The first reference to schools on the town books was December 13, 1714 when Thomas Brown was chosen as schoolmaster for one quarter of a year. The schools were at first in private homes and the vote to build the first school-house was in 1731-1732. Two schoolhouses were opened near the center of the town. At a town meeting assembled March 7, 1757, voted "that every quarter of the town shall have their proportion of schooling".

"BRICK SCHOOL"

March 3, 1766 the town of Stow voted at a Town meeting to build three schoolhouses in the outlying districts. There is no doubt but one of the three was the Brick School on Summer Street, for we find the record of the School Committee chosen December 17, 1789 for the "Northeast Corner" district were Luke Brooks, John Marble and Captain Sargent, all residents of the Assabet Village section. (The Legislature in 1789 ordered that the towns should be divided into districts; the town of Stow already had five schoolhouses and it was therefore divided into districts, one of which District No. 5 contained the "Red Brick School".) it remained as District No. 5 until the incorporation of the Town of Maynard. The school lot is said to have been given by Mr. Randall.

At the close of the second term in 1872 it was deemed no longer necessary or advisable to maintain this school, and, as the people seemed to be unanimously of the same opinion it was discontinued and the seats removed to another schoolhouse. Thus, the "Old Brick School" was closed, having worthily served its purpose for over one hundred, years. it was sold at auction on June 8, 1872 to Benjamin Conant,-- ""brick schoolhouse, $105, shed for $7.50 and stove for $1. Total $113.50. 

(Many of our honored citizens received all the schooling they ever had within its walls. Among its pupils were numbered George, Charles, Lorenzo and William Maynard, and their children; also, the Fowlers, Bents, Parmenters, Thomas Hillis, the Brooks, Browns, Whitneys and many other older families in the district. William H. Gutteridge, author of "A Brief History of Maynard, Mass." - 1921, and his wife also received their schooling here.) One hundred and three pupils presented themselves for registration on the first day of one winter term. Needless to say all could not be accommodated. (Mr. Henry Fowler, grandfather of Guyer W. Fowler, and a signer of the petition requesting the incorporation of the town of Maynard, was a teacher at this school.) (For many years since the closing it served as a residence of William Bishop and family, and since 1965 it has been owned and occupied by Paul Crotty and family as #101 Summer Street. )

"PRIVATE SCHOOL" 

For many years a well-known private school for young ladies in this district, and called the Smith School for Girls was kept by Mrs. Susan Smith at the Levi Smith place on Great Road. it was discontinued about 1860. (This place now referred to as the Thompson or Eveleth house at 178 Great Road and presently owned and occupied by Captain Robert A. Mayes and family. )  The Smith School Building was moved to what was later Joseph Boothroyd's house at 166 Great Road.

"TURNPIKE SCHOOL"

In 1800, the town of Sudbury granted money for the building of three schoolhouses, which money was to be divided equally between the districts. The "Northwest" was to have for its share $157.50. Lieutenant Hopestill Willis was then committeeman for the district. The schoolhouse, a one-room wooden structure, stood at about the center of the district, by the county roadside, on land owned by the Balcom family (near the fork in the road at Parker Street and Old Marlboro Road - about opposite the Felix Dettling house, which was torn down a few years ago by the present owner, Abel Cutting.)

After the incorporation of the town of Maynard in 1871, it was voted on May 26 of that year that this schoolhouse now known as the "Balcom School", formerly the "Northwest District schoolhouse of Sudbury", be moved to a new location a short distance nearer the village (corner of Parker Street and Great - Road, then known as "Mitchell's corner", and on land which is now a part of Glenwood Cemetery) it was named the Turnpike School. This school afforded education to many of our respected citizens. Among its pupils were the Voses, Parmenters, Cheneys, Raffertys, Reardons, Brighams, Balcoms, Puffers, McGowans, Thomas Farrell and others. Mrs. Sarah Nyman, who for forty-four years, 1885-1929, served as our town librarian was a pupil. (Asahel Balcom, one of our first selectmen of Maynard, also John H. Vose, a member of our first school committee were teachers at this school.) 

The school was abandoned in 1881. In 1884 it was voted to sell the building for $125.50 and it was moved to Acton Street to become a dwelling house.

"MAIN STREET SCHOOL"
(The first one. )

July 11, 1857 a lot of thirty-two rods was purchased. from Amory Maynard for $208.00 on Main Street, on the site of the present library and town building, and the town of Sudbury also voted "that the committee might borrow $300. in addition to the $1000 granted if necessary to build a schoolhouse at Assabet". (July 11, 1857, Amory Maynard and Mary Maynard conveyed this land to the town of Sudbury to be used for school purposes, and it would revert to the Maynard heirs if it ceased to be used as such.) A two-room wooden schoolhouse was built. 

In 1892 this school was closed when the new schoolhouse was built on Nason Street. it was reopened in 1894 "after long and careful consideration, to prevent discomfort of our teachers and pupils" and placed in charge of Miss Alice Nagle. it remained open until 1902 when the town of Maynard voted to build a new schoolhouse on the site. On May 8, 1903, Mr. James Mullin purchased this old wooden school house at public auction for $126 and moved it to the rear of his home on Main Street where it remained for many years and was used by him as a workshop and stable.

"NASON STREET SCHOOL"
(the first one.)

In 1864 the town of Stow purchased from Artemas Whitney "for a schoolhouse in District No. 5" forty rods of land on Nason Steet for $225., a two room wooden building being erected.. This building was enlarged in 1871 by adding a basement. John K. Harriman was paid the sum of $3122 for altering and. enlarging the building. (This was also the beginning of the high school, as voted at town meeting in March. Mr. Theodore Gleason of Westboro as teacher admitted on examination thirty-five pupils.) in 1875, paid Artemas Whitney for schoolhouse lot, $400. This lot adjoins the Nason Street school lot and is to be used as a playground at the school.

In January 1879 a fire at this schoolhouse caused. $400 damage. In 1891, this building was sold to Julius Lowe for $350, "who moved it to Acton Street to be made into a dwelling house. (Now #30 Acton Street and owned by Mrs. Helen A. Paskiewicz.)

"ACTON STREET SCHOOL"

In 1877, the cost of the new schoolhouse on Acton Street (corner of Pleasant Street) containing two classrooms was $3579. 41. "Heated by a furnace, which is a great improvement over the old system of stoves and wood fires, with long funnels constantly getting out of repair." Paid Mrs. Mary Sanders $320. for the land to build this schoolhouse. The high school was transferred to this building in 1877 from the old Nason Street school where it remained until 1892.

Abandoned in 1892 as of no further use and in 1894 it was sold at public auction with the old Garfield school for $2150 and made into a tenement block. May 14, 1903 the block was moved to a new foundation (the site of the present Jarmo's Garage (formerly Barber Chevrolet) by Mr. E. Mandigo in order to erect three houses in the rear of the building. (It was then known as the Mandigo building.) February 26, 1920 the old remodeled schoolhouse was purchased by William Holly, John E. and Herbert Comeau who tore it down and erected the present garage. (Jarmo's)

"GARFIELD SCHOOL" 

In 1881, a new schoolhouse was built at the corner of Sudbury Street and Great Road at a cost of $4454.51. Sidney B. Shattuck of Maynard was the builder. The land was purchased from Aaron S. Thompson for $500.85. In 1883, Mr. John H. Vose, principal of this school named it the "Garfield School" (in memory of President Garfield who was assassinated in 1881, the year this school was built.) Mr. Vose taught in this school since the year it was opened.

Abandoned in 1892 as of no further use it was sold in 1894 at public auction with the Acton Street school for $2150. It was made into a tenement house (now 48-50 Sudbury Street and owned by George A. and Eleanor Thorensen.)

"PARKER STREET SCHOOL"

In 1886 an attempt was made to start a school on Parker Street (near Paper Mill Corner) and a building was erected for that purpose. The idea was abandoned.

"NEW NASON STREET SCHOOL" 

April 23, 1891, at the annual Town meeting it was voted to appropriate the sum of $30,000. to build and furnish a 12-room schoolhouse on the Nason Street lot. David H. Nugent of Mariboro was awarded the contract for $20,927. The Mossman property on Glendale Street was purchased for $1500, and the buildings were sold for $302. to Sarah Punch and John Wagner. The new twelve room school building was ready for inspection on September 10, 1892 and dedicated with impressive ceremonies on October 5 at Music Hall. (Brigham's orchestra of Marlboro played and Amory Maynard ,2nd, led the singing of "America" at the conclusion.) 

September 12, 1916 fire caused $200. damage in assembly hall. On the night of September 20, 1916 fire completely destroyed the building.

"STUART BUILDING"

In 1891, due to the growing needs of our school population it was found necessary to hire the Stuart Building on Main Street, and the pupils of the 3rd and 4th grades of the abandoned Nason Street school building passed to this building (The Stuart Building, owned by Mr. C.B. Stuart is now occupied by the Lando's (formerly Western Auto Store.)

"MAIN STREET SCHOOL"
(Wilson School)

At a Town meeting on April 7, 1902 voted to appropriate the sum of $25;,000. to build a new brick school building of six rooms on the Main Street school site. The houses situated on the lot next to the old wooden schoolhouse, and which were the property of the American Woolen Company, were moved to Sudbury Court (now 1-3 owned by Richard and Charlene Martin and 4-5 owned by Frank M. and Helen Rogers).

The contract for the new building was awarded to Mr. Edward Price of Warren. (He was the contractor that built the original car barn of the Concord, Maynard and Hudson Street Railway on Great Road (now the Mill Pond Building) (Mr. Price also built the Case block on Nason Street, now owned, by J.J. Ledgard. and. occupied, by the Army and Navy Store.) Cost of the new building to be $17,646. This was the first town building to be made of brick, with the exception of the "Old Brick School" and the Town "lockup" at the rear of the old fire station on Nason Street. (Now Town Paint and Supply Company.) The new building was dedicated on Saturday April 19, 1903 with appropriate exercises. Miss Emily A. Gordon was named principal. Paid Harriman Brothers $1195 for a part of the land, while the American Woolen Company donated a parcel of land. March 14, 1932 at Town meeting voted to name this school the "Woodrow Wilson School". 

On June 18, 1942 it was closed by the school committee "due to decrease in enrollment, shortage of fuel and as a matter of economy". It was re-opened in September 1948. On the morning of December 17, 1952 the building was totally destroyed by a pre-dawn fire. The school committee did not recommend rebuilding. Received $57,800.78 insurance. April 25, 1955 voted $3000. to demolish the building and level the lot. October 10, 1960 at Town meeting voted to take by eminent domain all the rights, title or interest which Amory Maynard or his heirs, successors, assignees or devisees may have by value of the reservation. (A. Maynard and Mary Maynard, land conveyed to the Town on Main Street on July 11, 1857, to be used for school purposes, and to revert to Maynard heirs if ceased to be used as such".) Also, on October 10, 1960 voted unanimously to transfer custody and control of "the "Wilson School" land to the selectmen and the library trustees.

"BANCROFT STREET SCHOOL" 
(Coolidge School)

May 16, 1905 voted to appropriate the sum of $18,000 to purchase of C.F. Monk, 18 lots of land fronting on Parker Street for $1800. and build thereon a four-room brick school building. James Mullin of Maynard awarded the contract. September 1906 this school, known as the Bancroft Street school was occupied. Built at a cost of $20,841.38. June 2, 1909 voted to add another story to this building at a cost of $12,000. This was completed in 1910. W. C. Croft of Maynard was the builder. March 14, 1932 at Town meeting voted to name this school the "Calvin Coolidge School".

Classes at Coolidge ceased in 1981.  It has since been used for a variety of uses, including artists' studios, SACC, and storage. Currently the building houses the administrative offices for the school, the Maynard Adult Learning Center.

"MAYNARD HIGH SCHOOL"
(Summer Street )

December 17, 1913 voted 60 to 0 to purchase a suitable site and erect thereon a high school, the cost of said site and building not to exceed $40,000. January 13, 1915 voted to purchase the Dr. F.U. Rich property (once the John Whitman place) on Summer Street for the purpose of erecting a high school thereon. Price of lot not to exceed $5,500. February 15, 1915 voted 71 to 9 to build a high school on the Rich property on Summer Street to cost not over $60,000. including land and equipment. May 14, 1915 contract given to J.L. Dolan of Cambridge, whose bid was $42,000. The Rich property sold at auction, for $249.35 Also sold grass from the lot for $3.00. House moved to Florida Road. Building was occupied on October 2, 1916. It cost $61,600.00. March 14, 1932 at Town meeting voted to name this school the "Maynard High School". In 1964 this school became the "Guyer W. Fowler Elementary School".

"NEW NASON STREET SCHOOL"
(Roosevelt School)

October 4, 1916 with about 500 voters at Town meeting voted 147 to 2 to build a two-story, 14-room grade school building on the Nason Street site at a cost of $55,000. Building to be of brick. Town received $22,500 for the destroyed building and $2500 for the contents. March 19, 1917 voted to appropriate additional $15,000. for equipping the new school. May 4, 1918 the school was open for inspection. Opened for classes at start of fall term, which was five weeks late due to the influenza epidemic. Cost of building $70,000, containing fifteen spacious, well-equipped classrooms. J.E. Warren Company of Marlboro, builders. March 3, 1919 at Town meeting voted that this school be named the "Roosevelt School", in memory of Theodore Roosevelt. October 7, 1919 the Town voted to purchase the Annie T. Doherty (Cullin) property on Glendale Street for school purposes for the sum of $3500. December 29, 1924 voted to sell the house at public auction in order to enlarge the playground at the school. Sold the house to John Bingle for $1275 and it was .moved to Powder Mill Road. May 20, 1929 the Town voted to purchase for school purposes land and buildings on Glendale Street owned by Mrs. E.M. Dawson for $3500. Sold at auction, house $61 and barn $21.

After the newer Green Meadow School had a major addition ready for occupation, the Roosevelt building had served its final year as a school building. On June 22, Roosevelt School had its last day of classes. The building was turned over to the town on Oct 1st.

"JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL"
(EMERSON)

January 2, 1924 voted. 59 to 17 to erect and equip an 8-room school building on Summer Street, amount not to exceed $90,000. Also, voted to make additions to the present high school building by erecting a two-story building. including a basement to be used as an assembly room and a gymnasium and the sum of $130,000. be appropriated. March 9, 1925 at Town meeting voted 146 to 73 to appropriate the sum of $130,000. to build an 8-room school building and an assembly hall in accordance with plans submitted by the committee. The Junior High School was opened for use on January 19, 1926. Built by T.P. Hurley Construction Company of Marlboro. March 14, 1932 at Town meeting voted to name this school the "Emerson Junior High School".

With the addition of the George Washington Auditorium which joined with the former High School, the complex became known as the Emerson-Fowler School.  After a series of renovations (and a fire) in the late 1970's, the school was rededicated as the Fowler Junior High School. A few years later it was be redesignated as the Fowler Middle School.

In January 2001, with the opening of the new Fowler School on Great Road, the Fowler Middle School was leased to an artists' studio called ArtSpace.

"AUDITORIUM AND GYMNASIUM"
(George Washington)

Opened in 1926. Built by the T.P. Hurley Construction Company of Marlboro. The gymnasium was found to be too small for regular indoor major sports. (A member of the building committee commented, "Half of the citizens wanted a gymnasium and the other half did not, so the town acquired a "half" gymnasium") March 14, 1932 voted to name this building the "George Washington Auditorium".

"ALUMNI FIELD" 

June 26, 1928 at Town meeting voted to transfer to the School department for athletic and playground purposes the parcel of land now known as the Town Farm on Great Road. The 1928 football schedule was played on the new field and proved satisfactory both, as a playing field and financially. In 1931, two "tennis courts and a quarter mile cinder track built. In 1934, a fieldhouse built under the ERA at a cost of $6006.50. Also, Hockey rink for $1186.05 and bleachers for $2130.31.

"GREEN MEADOW SCHOOL"

April 26, 1954  at a special town meeting held at Peoples' Theatre, voted to accept General Law authorizing the Town of Maynard to use for school purposes a portion of the land that was annexed to the original John A. Crowe Park. Voted 282 to 102 to appropriate the sum of $344,000. for the purpose of constructing and equipping an elementary school building on this lot. March 14, 1955 voted an additional $38,000. to be added to the original sum for building and equipping an elementary school. Louis Proia Construction Company of Newton to build the school for $323,580. Broke ground on March 29, 1955. The School Committee allowed the children of 1st and .6th grades to suggest names for the new school - the children voted to name it "Green Meadow School.  Total cost $382,000. Opened on September 3. 1956. Dedicated on November 11, 1956.

In 1986, the town approved a major addition to the Green Meadow School. Ground-breaking for the addition occurred on April 13, 1987 and it was opened on September 7, 1988.

"MAYNARD MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM" 

April 26, 1954 at special Town meeting at Peoples' Theatre voted 282 to 2 that the sum of $243,500. be raised for the purpose of constructing and furnishing a gymnasium on land owned by the Town on the present: Senior High School site. Franchi Construction Company of Newtonville to build the same at a cost of $225,000. Broke ground on March 27, 1955. School Committee announced. it would name the new gymnasium the "Maynard Memorial Gymnasium" in honor of the veterans of all wars". It was dedicated on November 11, 1956.

"NEW MAYNARD HIGH SCHOOL" 

March 7, 1960 voted to transfer the "Eveleth Estate" in Maynard to the School Committee. April 3, 1961 voted. 419 to 278 against an appropriation of $1,630,000. to build a new high school on the "Eveleth Estate" property. March 5, 1962 voted 379 to 175 in favor of an appropriation of $1,694,600 to construct a high school building on Town owned land known as the "Eveleth Estate" property. Chick's Construction Company of Clinton awarded the contract for $1,354,391.  March 2, 1964 at Town meeting motion to name the new high school the "John F. Kennedy High School" was defeated.. (The gymnasium at the school was named, the "John F. Kennedy Memorial Gymnasium".) The New High school opened in September 1964.

In 1992, a fire in the auditorium gutted the auditorium, cafeteria, and kitchen area, while extensive smoke damage permeated nearly every corner of the building.

"SAINT BRIDGET'S. PAROCHIAL SCHOOL" 

September 1965  the new Saint Bridget's Parochial School opened. A 16-room brown brick building located on Percival Street on a filled in section of the Mill Pond. 

"GUYER FOWLER SCHOOL"

In 1996 ATM votes to create a Middle School Building Committee and a Fowler Reuse Committee. The 1997 ATM votes to build new Middle School, but debt override vote fails: 1297-1732. In 1998 ATM again votes to build new Middle School, this time the override passes: 1774-1342.  $18M

Broke ground on June 18, 1999 for what was then called the New Middle School, located between MHS and GMS.


Credits:

Hudson's "Annals of Sudbury, Wayland & Maynard." l890
Gutteridge's "A Brief History of Maynard, Mass." 1921
Maynard Town Reports -1871 to 1967, Inclusive 
The Assabet Valley Beacon for use of the "Maynard News" 
Crowell's "History of Stow" 1933.

 

Slide

Photo ID

Title

Notes

 

0663

Fowler Elementary and GWash Aud

(1970, Charles Berreel)

 

1700

Gr5 Roosevelt School (1920-1921)

(MF)

 

1694

Grade 4 Nason St School (1912-1913)

MF

 

1349

Class of 1911 in Washington DC

Contributed by Dorothy Marsden, Principal John D. Chester, student names available.

 

1254

MHS Band (date?)

 

 

173-SL

MHS Men’s Glee Club in the GW Auditorium

(Samuel’s) Charles Garabedian, conductor; Sally Boeske, pianist.
1/100 f/11, 2 #25 bulbs, view camera, 127mm.  No date!

 

a244

Postcard showing MHS

Plus Mill pond, Ben Smith Dam, Biz
Published by Elizabeth Schnair

 

b136

Nason Street School, after fire

Donated by Mrs. Pauline Foley

 

 

 

 

005

2419

Old Brick School (o.1766-c.1872)

(1921)  Now 101 Summer St.

008

0682

Mrs. Smith’s School for Girls c.1857

166 Great Road. Credit: Charles Berreel, 1970

011

0169

Miss Boardman’s class, Old Main St School – c1895

 

012

2201

Maynard School Teachers – 1890’s

Alice Nagle, 2nd from left, rear. Main Street School.

015

0714

First Nason Street School (o1864-c.1891)

Moved to Acton Street, dwelling.

020

0657

Garfield School (b1881-c1892)

(1970) Corner of Sudbury and Great Road

024

2011

Nason St School (b1892,d-1916)

Fire Sep 1916

025

0623

Nason Street School (b1892-c1916)

Destroyed by fire 9/19/1916. Also the high school. Now site of Roosevelt School. Man in picture is William Priest (janitor). From George Wearing collection.

026

1348

Gr 3, Nason St School, 10/25/1905

Donald Lent? on back, woman in pic

030

a131

Postcard: High School

Addressed to: Mr. Aa?ra Kangas, Taalla Ylaalis

033

1695

Gr4 Nason St School 1913-1914

Names are available for all of students.  (MF)

036

3036

MHS Commercial Course 1912

Nason St School, Top floor, former assembly hall

040

a302

Postcard: Nason Street School, after fire

Penny Postcard, Sep 15, 1916  
Photo by George E. Clapp, S. Acton.

046

b-82

Scenes from MHS ruins

Sept 20, 1916

050

a059

Postcard: Main Street School

Hugh Leighton Co, Portland, ME

053

0163

Main Street School

 

055

1698

Mary Finn Gr4 – Main St. School (1916-1917)

Donated by Mary Finn

060

2896

Main St School after fire (12/18/1952)

 

063

dg01

Scenes from Main St Fire

(Ref: 2896) Note xmas tree,

070

1906

Bancroft School (1906)

Shows school with only one level. Later Calvin Coolidge School. Photo published by H.J. Dwinell.

073

a293

Postcard: Bancroft School

Penny if mailed to US, and Island Possessions, Cuba, Canada, and Mexico.

075

a232

Postcard: Coolidge

One cent. Rotograph Co, NYC; Printed in Germany, E21681

075

a455

Bancroft School (Postcard)

 

076

a123

Bancroft School (celebration)

 

079

0658

Coolidge School (b1906 1stf,b1910 2ndf)

(1970)

080

1702

Gr 3 Bancroft School (1920s)

Teacher is Catherine Finn

100

0662

Guyer Fowler Elementary School

(1970, Charles Berreel)

101

a194

High School / Summer Street

 

150

a180

High School / Summer Street

 

160

a139

Junior High School Postcard

Summer Street

220

a310

Roosevelt School Postcard

 

223

0659

Theodore Roosevelt School (b1917)

(1970) Built on foundation of the old Nason Street School. Rear view (Glendale Street)

225

2069

Roosevelt School, April 19, 1921

50th anniversary of the Town.

230

1699

Gr 5 Roosevelt School (May 1920)

Mary Finn (standing), names available

240

1703

Gr 4 Roosevelt School (c1930)

 

300

0716

Green Meadow School (o1956)

(1970,CB)

400

0664

Maynard Memorial Gymnasium

“”

500

0717

MHS (o1964)

(1970,CB)

620

0665

St. Bridgets Parochial School

“”