Ridgefield’s Peter Parley School is open this Sunday


Peter Parley School – officially West Lane School – will be open to visitors this Sunday, July 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (afternoon open houses on the last Sunday of the month will continue through October. )

Originally built in the mid-18th century, the West Lane District School was replaced by the current larger building in the early 19th century. Its informal name, Peter Parley Schoolhouse, honors Samuel G. Goodrich, who attended school from 1799 to 1803 and went on to write a series of extremely popular textbooks for children under the pseudonym Peter Parley.

The school served district students until 1915 when it was closed and its children transferred to the new and modern East Ridge School.

Still owned by the Town of Ridgefield, the school, located at the intersection of West Lane, South Salem and Silver Spring Roads, has been restored and maintained as a small museum by the Ridgefield Garden Club. In 2012, they transferred responsibility to the Ridgefield Historical Society.

Desks, typical of those said to have been used over a century ago, fill the classroom, whose walls offer information about Ridgefield’s one-room schools and other aspects of its history. The exhibits include some of the textbooks the young scholars of Ridgefield might have used.

As was the case when it was used as a school, the building does not have running water or sanitation facilities; the addiction is long gone.

School visitors who are vaccinated will not need to wear masks, but those who are not vaccinated are asked to cover their faces before entering.

For more information visit https://ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org. The open house program is supported by Fairfield County Bank.

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