Peter Parley Schoolhouse open Sunday
The Peter Parley Schoolhouse will be having an open house Sunday, July 30, from 1 to 4. It is in the triangle at the intersection of West Lane and South Salem Road (Route 35). Follow signs for nearby parking.
An antique fire truck will be on site, along with an ice cream truck selling summery treats.
The historic schoolhouse — also known as “the West Lane Schoolhouse” and, sometimes, “the Little Red Schoolhouse” — has a new bell and was recently repainted.
The schoolhouse is set up as a small history museum with desks, chalkboards and other artifacts of the early-American schooling.
The schoolhouse was named after Samuel G. Goodrich, who lived from 1793 to 1860, grew up in Ridgefield, and wrote under the pen name Peter Parley. Goodrich attended the schoolhouse and went to become the author of more than 170 books, many of them aimed at school children, combining lessons in history and natural science with entertaining anecdotes. His work is considered significant to the development of the school textbook.
Ridgefield once had 14 neighborhood schoolhouses. Three remain in town ownership: the Peter Parley Schoolhouse; the Branchville Schoolhouse, which is in disrepair and used for storage off Old Branchville Road; and the former Titicus School off North Salem Road, which now serves as American Legion Hall.
The other five remaining schoolhouses in Ridgefield are privately owned. Four are homes and one serves an art studio.
The Peter Parley Schoolhouse dates to 1756. It was closed as a school in 1915.