Barnet, Vermont Early School History               





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There is no mention of schools in the town records prior to 1786 when the report of the annual town meeting dismissed an article which looked toward the employment of a schoolmaster. In the next year, the selectmen were instructed to hire a master.

The journal of Enos Stevens says that on November 1, 1793, the neighbors began to clear a piece of land for a school house. This building, which may have been the first in town erected solely for school purposes, was built at once, as Mr. Stevens says on the 20th of December, that the neighbors met at Mr. Hyndman's and "settled about the schoolhouse which cost 18, 8, 6". It stood a little east of Mr. Walter Johnson's house.

In 1799 the town took up the school business by dividing the town into five districts - the Harvey Tract, the Passumpsic River District, the Center District, the Joe's Brook District, and the River District. It is understood that schools were taught in those districts from that time and for some years before in some of them.

In 1809 a special committee was formed to divide the town a second time which resulted in the following:

1st District (Walter Harvey): All west of Colonel Harvey's lake and the main brook which runs in and out of the same, and up Peacham Brook to the Peacham line. This disstrict is located on the road from West Barnet, past Harvey's Lake towards Groton.

2nd District (West Barnet): Beginning at Andrew Lackie's east lot, Widow Stuart's, William Strobridge's, Widow McFarlane's, and Samuel Aikens.

3rd District (Aiken): By Harvey's Lake and the 2nd district, including James Buchanan, John McCulloch, William Gilfillan, Jr, Emerson Walcott to the Ryegate Line. This district is that portion of the town in the hills west of McIndoes Falls Village.

4th District (Barnet Center): To remain as before, with the exception of persons named above, taken into the 2nd and 3rd districts, John Morse, Cloud Somers, and Paul Dodge, taken into the 10th district.

5th District, River: To remain as before, with the exception of Emerson Walcott, John Waddell, and John Brown, taken into the 10th district.

6th District: All the inhabitants east of Passumpsic River on Lots 51-57 and 97-103.

7th District (Passumpsic): All above the 6th District on the southeast and the inhabitants between Passumpsic River and Endrick Brook, except Joseph Batchelder, Elijah Clifford, Gardner Houghton, and Daniel Lucas.

8th District (Copenhagen): All the remainder of the lands on the east side of the Passumpsic River to the Connecticut River. This district, inundated when the Comerford Dam was built, no longer exists as all houses have been removed or destroyed.

9th District (County): By Endrick Brook and William Galbraith's, Samuel Prouty's, Caleb Stiles, Jr, Capt. Gilkerson's, Hugh Somer's, and John Gilkerson's, Jr. This district is located in the hills west of Passumpsic Village.

10th District (Joe's Brook): On Merritt's Brook to contain all bounded by Nos. 4, 6, 9, 99.

Later organized districts include: #12 McIndoes, #15 Four Corners, #17 East Barnet. The "Four Corners" school was located along the Barnet Center - West Barnet where the paved road takes a sharp left turn up the hill.

Further information relating to various schools in these districts will be found in Chapter XXI of the History of Barnet, Vermont.