Peter Parley Schoolhouse // 1756

The Peter Parley Schoolhouse (also known as the West Lane Schoolhouse) in Ridgefield, CT, is an excellent example of a well-preserved one-room school building in Fairfield County. The little red schoolhouse was originally built in 1756 and either replaced or enlarged in the early 1800s. As Ridgefield in the early days was primarily an agricultural community, many children split their time either helping family on the farm or in school, with work almost always coming before education. The school is named for its most famous student, Samuel Griswold Goodrich. Goodrich went by the alias Peter Parley and was born in Ridgefield, attending the school between 1799-1803. He was a prolific writer, with over 170 books to his credit, and is believed by many to have written the first American textbooks. Samuel wrote about his experiences as a student there, giving locals and historians a look into early life in the town. In the early 1900s, the town consolidated schools and this building was closed. The town seemed to simply close the building and it saw some neglect over time until the Ridgefield Historical Society assumed a lease of the property, recently restoring it.

Frank S. Stevens Memorial Library // 1900

The gorgeous public library building in Swansea was built in 1900 from designs by Henry Vaughan. Similar to the nearby Christ Church, the building was funded by the widow of Frank S. Stevens in memory of her husband. The stone building contributes to and echos design elements of the Christ Church building also designed by Vaughan, but is warmer with the use of a red Potsdam sandstone trim and detail. At the interior, oak panelling and floors paired with red brick create a warm, and cozy feeling.