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6/16/2023 - 350th History Talk on Connecticut Schoolhouses

On Saturday, June 24th at 1:00pm, the Town of Southbury welcomes Southbury Historical Society President and returning local author, Melinda K. Elliott back to discuss her book Connecticut Schoolhouses Through Time as part of the 350th History Celebration at Southbury Public Library. Learn more about the history of Connecticut schoolhouses, with a focus on Southbury schoolhouses. The event is free with registration and will take place in the Kingsley Room at the Southbury Library at 100 Poverty Road.

There was a time when you could walk through Connecticut and find schoolhouses scattered across the landscape every few miles. In the mid-1800s, schoolhouses were located in districts so that a child would not have to walk more than two miles to school. The schools were literally everywhere: in the road, at the edge of the tobacco field, on top of a rocky hill, or next to the meeting house. Each schoolhouse was made for one teacher to "keep school" for all the neighborhood children aged 7-16. In 1852, there was a count of over 1600 schoolhouses. As the population changed, the school district borders changed, new schools were constructed, or old schools were moved to new locations.

Now in the 21st century, you can still see old Connecticut schoolhouses and imagine what they would have been like in the old times. Connecticut is blessed with over a hundred renovated and restored schoolhouses which are open to the public thanks to the hard work of the communities and numerous historical societies. Compare the new photographs with the up to 130-year-old photos to see how the schools and terrain have changed or remained the same through time.

Author Melinda K. Elliott grew up with a keen interested in history. She is always researching some historical topic and loves delving into the stories of long-forgotten people. Melinda enjoys sharing her latest finds through writing blog posts, articles, brochures, and books. Melinda is the president of the Southbury Historical Society, director of The Bullet Hill School, and serves on the 350th Anniversary Steering Committee.

The author will be signing copies of the book at the event. In addition, there will be various 350th Anniversary commemorative items for sale with proceeds benefiting the Southbury Historical Society.

Registration Link:

Like all Southbury Public Library programs, this event is free to attend and open to anyone regardless of town of residency. Registration is required. For more information about this program, please email Rebecca at or call the reference desk at 203-262-0626 ext 130.


350th logo

The Town of Southbury is holding events and activities all year long to celebrate 350 years of community, culture and history (1673-2023), aimed at highlighting the past and progress of the one and only Southbury.

The 350th Anniversary Steering Committee is co-chaired by John Dwyer and Kevin Bielmeier, with vice-chair Brian Jones, Justin Bette, Lynn Dwyer, Melinda Elliott, Michael Ganem, Kara Kenney, Mary Korsu, and Gosia Liedlich.

To learn more about the 350th Anniversary visit