Public Schools of Fryeburg, Maine
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The first appropriation made by the voters of Fryeburg for the maintenance of public schools was in September 1777, at a meeting held for providing for assessing taxes on all the property in town. £60 was voted for schools. The following year but one school was kept in town, and as yet no house erected for its use. A committee was that year appointed “to see how and where a school house shall be built” and the sum of Y250 raised for education. From these meager beginnings there gradually developed a flourishing and elevating though not always harmonious school system. In 1825, fourteen school districts were being attended by 490 pupils, showing an average attendance of thirty-five. Some schools however were attended by twice that number and required the strict surveillance of a stern master and the often application of the rod.
About 1830, two stone school houses were erected in the village. That in Number One is now occupied by the village library; that in Number Two was burned, and rebuilt in 1850, the new building serving now as a recitation room of the Academy. A fine new village school house was erected in 1902. During recent years the number of scholars attending the town schools has gradually decreased and the little red school house has passed, superceded by the more elegant white house at the cross roads in which may be often found rows of patent desks instead of the long side seats occupied by the fathers and grandparents of the present learners. Who shall say the privileges of education have not been ample? Upon the foundations laid here have been reared some of the broadest minds that have helped mould the affairs of our most successful and prosperous republic.