Several years ago, the Hampton Historical Society acquired this school house, which stood on Lafayette Road near the North Hampton town line, and moved it to its present site on the Meeting House Green.
The school house has been restored with authentic school furniture, books, and equipment covering several eras and showing the educational growth of the Hampton schools since 1750. Click here for a view of the interior.
This is the last of Hampton's 19th century one-room schoolhouses. It can be seen in a childhood watercolor painting by Charles Henry Turner. The door to the schoolhouse is thought to be the front door of the Garrison House built in 1600. It came into the ownership of the Toppan family in 1727 and was given to the museum as an example of architecture from the colonial era.
The place of the small one room district school house in the academic and educational history of Hampton, the area, and New Hampshire has been both a rich and interesting one. Between 1810 and 1830, in New Hampshire, the "District School Houses" were taking the place of the "Boarding Teacher," "Dame-Kept School," "The Moving Teacher," and the "Moving School House" (schools were many times moved from one section of the town to another by 3 to 5 oxen as the school population shifted). District school houses were built throughout the state. It was not uncommon for several neighboring towns to send groups of their children to the same district school house.
In 1885 the New Hampshire legislature voted to "abolish the local area District School Houses and to place all schools under the towns themselves in a single Whole Town District." Between 1855 and 1860, Hampton built several of these school buildings, one of which is the school house on the Meeting House Green. All traces of the other school districts' school houses have disappeared as they have either burned, been torn down, or sold to become part of businesses, work shops, or chicken coops.
Beside the schoolhouse is a stone slab used as the door step from the early Hampton Academy when it was located on the "Green."