The Little Red Schoolhouse

    The building that became the Little Red Schoolhouse originally stood off of Freedom
    Street where the Gannetts' tennis courts now stand. The construction date is unknown.
    At first the building served as a pump house for the icehouse that once stood on that site.

    In the early 1940s, after the razing of the icehouse, the pump house was moved across
    the pond to Dutcher Street. It was then that  it became known as "The Little Red
    Schoolhouse." Old Bill Taylor of Milford moved it with a team of horses. It took
    approximately five hours to reach its present location.

    Ethel Durgin set up a nursery school in the old pump house, and taught there. A fire bell
    was donated by the fire department when the school opened. The bell came from a 1914
    Hopedale ladder truck.

    The school eventually closed and the building was converted into a workshop. The
    interior still contains some blackboards and other reminders that for some years it had
    been a school. From a paper written for the Hopedale Community Historical
    Society, which noted, "Information provided by Herbert Durgin." Photos and
    articles on this page are from the Milford Daily News clippings at the Bancroft
    Library in Hopedale.

        
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    Thanks to Debbie (Grillo) Robbins for sending this Milford News clipping. . The year was
    probably 1947.. Here's what the caption says, for anyone who has trouble reading it
    above.

    Hopedale, Dec 24.- Christmas exercises were held by pupils of the Little Red
    Schoolhouse Nursery school in the Town Hall. Donald Keniston of Upton was Santa
    Claus and there were many guests present and some of these young folks had their
    pictures taken with the pupils.

    Front row: James Robert Wood of Milford, Paula Ann Tellier of Milford, David Calarese
    of Hopedale, Carolyn Thompson of Upton, Dorothy Robbins of Mendon, Philip LaBastie
    of Mendon, Alice Wilson of  Hopedale, Arlene Kirsner of Milford, Richard Moore of
    Hopedale, Nancy Ann Newton of Upton, Sally  Newton of Upton, Nancy Dudley of
    Mendon, Evelyn Dautrich of Mendon, "Jackie" Evans of Milford.

    Second row: Patricia Mosso of Upton, Bernadette Sooley of Hopedale, Celine Wood of
    Milford,
    Daniel Nicholson of Milford, Dolores Comastra of Milford, Paul Biedrzycki of Mendon,
    James Lovejoy  of Hopedale, Kathryn Sails of Milford, Karen Caulfield of Hopedale,
    Margaret Wilson of Hopedale, James Kennelly of Mendon.

    Back row: Benjamin Barnes of Hopedale, Stanley Barker of Milford, Jesse Cox of
    Mendon, Karen Jacques of Milford, John Melanson of Milford, Howard Sears of Milford,
    James Webber of Milford,  Chester Benoit of Upton, Carol Ann Hickmott of Mendon,
    Donald Washburn of Hopedale, Charles  Smith of Mendon, Barry Williams of Upton,
    Susan Clifford of Milford and Henry Bouchard, Jr., of Mendon.

    Photo of what was once the Little Red Schoolhouse,
    behind the former Durgin home at 120 Dutcher Street.

Thanks to Ron Kimball for the diploma.

    The icehouse on the west side of Hopedale Pond. When the
    icehouse was razed, the pump house (below the windmill) was
    brought across the pond and set up behind the Durgin home at
    120 Dutcher Street where it became The Little Red Schoolhouse.

Herb Durgin in 1985