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District #5 Schoolhouse

Built in 1828 by Artemas Dodge Baker, the District #5 Schoolhouse is one of the oldest surviving school buildings in the state. Located on the corner of Old Mill Road and Main Street, it is Shrewsbury’s oldest remaining school. Classes were held in this one room school until 1917 when the Artemas Ward School was built. Years later it served as a private residence. 


The school is unique because there have been no major modifications to the original structure. Old photos show that at one time there was a wood shed next to the building. 

Over the years, the widening of Old Mill Road claimed much of the land in front of the schoolhouse. The lot became so small that there was talk of demolishing the school. In 1973, the Shrewsbury Historical Society was able to save the school house by acquiring the building from the town. It was in desperate need of repairs. Several fund raisers were held and restoration work started. Exterior work included new windows, a wood shingled roof and painting. Interior work included repairing the walls and painting the wainscoting. To complete the restoration, period desks and chairs were purchased and installed. 

Since the original restoration the windows were reglazed, plaster work was completed and the interior and exterior were repainted. After many years of restoration efforts, the District # 5 Schoolhouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior on Aug. 27, 2013.

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