A History of the first two Drake School Houses
the site of the First Stoughton High School Building
on Washington Street and Monk Streets
Old School Days
Recollections of the old Drake School House in 1906
reprinted from the Stoughton Record, December 14, 1906, p. 2
In spite of the very inclement weather about twenty five of the members of the Historical Society were present at the meeting on Monday evening. The entire evening was taken up by recounting the history and recalling the days of the old Drake School houses. The president Mr. H.L. Johnson and several others could remember the original building built in 1826 and many were the tales of old school days recalled by Mr. Johnson, Mr. Marcus Porter, Mr. G. H. Goward, Mr. J.W. Richardson, Mrs. E. A. Curtis, and Mr. J. Elmer Talbot. A short history of the buildings was read by Miss Clifton which follows:
(School Houses, taken mostly from a paper written by the late Mrs. Henry Jones).
The original Drake School house built in 1826, was a one story building 28 1/2 feel long by 22 feet wide. It was built some distance from the street in a field, but was moved nearer the turnpike before it was occupied. It faced the south, had six windows in the school rooms and one in the entry, with green blinds and a green door in the southwest corner of the front. The schoolroom would seat between 80 and 90 pupils with close arranging the seats being in rows along the sides of the room facing the middle.
The boys seats were on the right of the teacher's desk, which was at one end of the room and the girl's seat in the left. The door leafing to the entry was opposite the teacher's desk, and it was the custom as late as 1840 for the pupils to make obeisance to the teacher on entering and leaving the school room.
About 1833 a second story was added to this building. It was a counterpart of the lower room and was used as a primary school room. After nearly twenty years of usefulness the first building because inadequate to accommodate the pupils and was moved away and converted into a tenement house, and finally destroyed.
The second Drake school house was built in 1845, standing farther from the street than the old one so there was quite a play ground in front. This building which many of us remember as it was built, consisted of three rooms, a large room on the second floor and two rooms on the first. The front door was in the middle with stairs at the left hand.
In 12 years this building became too small, and in 1858, two rooms were added to the front, also a cupola which contained a bell which was rung many years. This addition made the building 100 feet long, and is the building so familiar to us all and so dear on account of pleasant memories of school life spent under its roof.
Here the High School was started in 1865 and continued until 1872 when a new building was built on Walnut Street.
In 1890 this second Drake building was moved aside, propped up and used the the schools until the present Drake building was ready for use. It was then sold and moved to Monk Street where it was used as a store house till on the morning of Nov. 23, 1906 it was destroyed by fire.
The third Drake School (1890-1955), located at the corner of Washington and Monk Streets.
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