History of Early Schools in Searsmont, Maine


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SKU: 2015_00106 Category:


Barbara (Fuller) Hills, a member of the Searsmont Bicentennial committee, volunteered to do a report on the old schools of Searsmont. Belmont and Searsmont, a part of Greene Plantation, are ‘sister’ towns, organized on the same date, Feb. 5th, 1814. Barbara, who did an in-depth report on schools, teachers, Superintendents, finances, teacher’s pay, etc., found that there had been sixteen school houses in Searsmont. Isabel Morse Maresh volunteered to help her format and put the pages in order. Barbara brought a computer ‘thumb-drive’ of sixty-two type-written pages to Isabel, who thought formatting would be a breeze, It ended up consuming several months of daily work.

The duo searched for Searsmont school photos, from the early one-room schools up until 2014, to the present Ames School. Photos came from private collections and albums, from Searsmont, Belmont, Lincolnville and Montville Historical Societies, and a large amount of old photos from Alvin Pease of South Montville, making up six pages of the forty-two pages of photos in the book.

The book, which is primarily a research tool, includes an index, two maps, names of early roads in Searsmont, and pages copied from old annual Town Reports, of Superintendent’s reports, some of which had a touch of humor. Superintendent E. A. Davis, in 1917, in writing of parents who didn’t care if their children went to school or not, and usually the children didn’t go to school, called them “bone-headed parents.” The Superintendents usually spoke out at what they believed was wrong in the schools. Superintendent C. S. Adams in 1901, who believed that the parents should buy the books, reported, “I believe the free text book law a gross humbug, and detrimental to the cause of education, and a most extravagant method of supplying our schools with books.”

8.5×11″, 159 total pages, indexed, ISBN: 9781935573951