Wolcott Historical Society News - August 2008
By Florence Goodman
Farmingbury, later known as Wolcott, was formed from land settled
by residents of the towns of Waterbury and Farmington. Each of these
towns had their own ecclesiastical society or church, but we did not.
It was not until November 13, 1770 that the First Ecclesiastical Society
was established in Farmingbury. Many of the people who became part of
this parish had settled in the area as early as 1731. At that time, there
was no separation of church and state; thus at this first meeting of the
Society, a parish government was established. The Society also voted to
build a meetinghouse.
Prior to the establishment of our Ecclesiastical Society,
the people of Farmingbury were allowed to have a winter parish which had
its own schools and gave the residents exemption from paying taxes for
schools in other towns. During the 1770 meeting of the Ecclesiastical
Society, a school committee was chosen and it was voted to divide the town
into districts. Nine districts were established as follows: North, Northeast,
Center, Southwest, South, West, Mill Place, East, and Southeast. It was
believed that at first most of the schools in these districts were kept in
private homes, but once school houses were built, the Southeast district
and the one at Mill Place were discontinued.
The earliest schoolhouse in the Southwest district was
located on Nichols Road. The original wooden structure was destroyed by
fire and was replaced circa1821 with the present stone structure. Today it
houses the Wolcott Historical Society's museum. In 1930 it was voted to
replace the stone school with a new two-room brick school building called
Woodtick School. Classes were held in this structure until Frisbie School
was opened in 1950. The Woodtick School was used as the headquarters of the
Public Safety Department until it was demolished to make room for the new
In the North district, the old North School was located on
North Street. This wooden structure was destroyed by fire in 1928 and
replaced by a one-room brick structure with inside plumbing and furnace.
Today this school houses a manufacturing company. The Northeast School was
located on Beecher Road, but the original structure is no longer in
existence. In 1945 the townspeople voted to build a new six-room school in
this district. Two more rooms were to be added to this school in the future.
This school was Alcott School.
The South School located in the Southeast district on
Meriden Road just east of Shelton Avenue was in existence in 1812. This
building served this area until it was replaced by a larger structure in
1855. This school was also located on Meriden Road, but near Farview Avenue
and was in operation until the 1920s. It was sold in 1923 and became a
private dwelling. In 1922 a new two-room school was erected on Shelton
Avenue. In 1930 two more rooms were added to the structure. The school was
renovated and named the Addin Lewis School in 1949. This school was closed
in 1966 and replaced with the new Tyrrell School.
The Center School was located on the Town Green near the
Congregational Church and was built circa 1856. This original wooden
structure was destroyed by fire in 1930. It was replaced with the larger
brick structure soon afterward. Today it houses the offices of the
Superintendent of Schools.
The West School stood on Spindle Hill Road close to the
intersection of Clinton Hill and Andrews Road. In 1946 the school was
turned into a private residence and is located on Spindle Hill Road across
from Rustic Acres. In 1959 the town voted to build a new school to meet the
needs of students in the western section of town. That school was named
As the population of our town increased larger schools
were needed to meet the needs of our students. The one-room schoolhouses
became a thing of the past that were replaced with larger more modern
Wolcott CT Map, 1868
To view past installments of the Wolcott Historical Society News, click