Greens Farms School, Back In The Day

This morning’s post about Westport’s constantly changing school landscape inspired alert reader Seth Schachter to go his archives.

He’s lived here only 4 years, but he’s got a great sense of history. Seth writes:

This post card is from the early 1900’s. From what I was told, the school was in the same location as today’s Greens Farms Elementary School. It is my guess and understanding that the oldest section of today’s GFS (referred to on the inside as “the fountain area”) is probably this post card image.

Early Greens Farms School

Is this in fact the current site of Greens Farms Elementary School? If readers have any information on this original building, please click “Comments” below.

16 responses to “Greens Farms School, Back In The Day

  1. The building that is presently Greens Farms School was built in 1925 by Charles E. Cutler a hands on architect. He built several buildings in town including the Old Westport Bank and Trust now Patagonia, On Long Lots “the Lindbergh house” (they only spent a summer there), Governor Lodges houses and several Beachside homes. His daughter was Barlow Cutler Wotton who was in the Historical society and in Garden clubs in town until she recently passed. Greens Farms additions were done in the 1950 and then the present expansion in 50 years later.

  2. Regina Kanter

    This link mentions a Greens Farms School on Clapboard Hill (on page 4). The description fits that of the image on the post card. Never knew there was another Greens Farms School!

    Click to access 64500082.pdf

  3. David J Loffredo

    The school in the picture is now a private residence on Clapboard Hill Road one house in from Morningside. If you look at it on maps.bing.com you can see that the original structure remains almost identical to the postcard.

    • Seth Schachter

      Thanks for this info David (and everyone else) — Great info and did not know that GFS was originally located on Clapboard Hill.

  4. Jan Carpenter

    I recall walking through 37 Clapboard Hill Road a few years ago when it was for sale and the literature indicated that it was the site of the first Greens Farms School. The Munroe’s lived there during the 60’s and 70’s. But, I don’t recall it looked like this picture (though it was old and very cool).

  5. What a handsome structure. Love the classically styled pavilion – or perhaps well house, as well. That river rock aesthetic stretched throughout the town in the early 20th century; from bridges (Myrtle, Evergreen, etc.) to assorted public buildings (old Town Hall – now Spruce/Tiara, Bedford School – now New Town Hall).

  6. What a sweetly romantic building. Love the classically styled pavilion too – or is it a well house? That river rock aesthetic ran throughout public architecture in early 20th century Westport – from bridges (Evergreen, Myrtle, Kings Highway) to public buildings (Old Town Hall, New Town Hall) It’s one of those things that quietly evokes a coastal community.

  7. No, it’s not my evil twin…just a computer issue.

    • Whew! I was beginning to worry.
      Anyway, I enjoyed all of your comments about the Greens Farms area, a part of Westport I never really knew.
      The poison ivy, though, I remember too well!

  8. I’m not sure about dates, but Mr. Bedford wanted the land that the first Greens Farms School sat on, so he purchased the lot at 37 Clapboard Hill Road and built a new 2-room school for the town. As the area grew, four more rooms were added. For several years after the new school was built in 1925, it became a kind of boarding house or single room occupancy. During the depression, an interior designer purchased the house and incorporated many accouterments from the demolished Wendell Mansion in New York into his refurbishment (two stained glass windows, crystal chandeliers, mahogany paneling etc.) I know this because I grew up in the house. We lived there from 1944 to 1960. My parents sold to Enid and Harry Monroe who in turn sold it to Joni and Nigel Andrews who have no sold to another family.

    • Seth Schachter

      Very interesting…… So……. are you saying there was a third Greens Farms School (one that pre-dated the Clapboard Hill location) ??? If so, any idea where it was located? This post card image on Dan’s Blog (Clapboard Hill location) is post stamped 1916.

      • I’m not sure, but I think on Greens Farms Road around Morningside or Turkey Hill. (And btw, Seth, Barlow Cutler Wotton, though she was a gifted and enthusiastic gardener, never belonged to any garden clubs. )

    • Seth Schachter

      hmmm– I know Greens Farms Road near Morningside Drive is the site where the first schoolhouse was for Greens Farms. This is where the monument called Machamux Boulder is located. I wonder if that site could be referred to as where the first Greens Farms School was located ?????

  9. There was a huge kerfuffle about Westport (then West Parish) schools in the 18th century – among other issues, there wasn’t enough space, so a plan was hatched to offer a discount for residents to sent their little crumb crunchers to school at night. Not sure how that worked out but there was definitely a schoolhouse located to the right of the second meeting house on Greens Farms Road (across from the Lower Greens Farms Burial Ground) (Machamux was, I believe, the location of the first meeting house – and, of course, school). The school house on Greens Farms Road became a “Sabbaday House” on the Sabbath – where families who had traveled a long way would cook lunch (and, in the winter, defrost) midway thru Sunday services. For some reason it was spared by the British in 1779 – who torched the adjacent meeting house in an act of terrorism. Owing to pressure from some area preservationists, the site of the meeting house and school, which is owned by the town under the watchful eye of our Historic District Commission, is now a State Archeological Preserve. As many people know, it sliding into ruin.

    • Seth Schachter

      Interesting piece of Westport History- thanks. Yes– I recall reading about the site located across from the Lower Greens Farms Burial Ground and I also recall in the past few years (soon after I moved here) some talk about conducting some type of an archaeological dig on the site and eventually turning the site into a park of some sort. I believe at this point in time there are some markers to delineate some of the structures once there but other then that, pretty much overgrown.

  10. Despite the protests of area preservationists, myself included, thousands of taxpayer dollars were frittered away several years ago on professional planning for the property in question (think fiberglass poles and such forth). The plea to forgo the frippery and simply get on with the hard work of cleaning up the site proved, as it so often does, much less, um, exciting. Although the plan, in reality, had very little to do with planning, it did achieve its principle objective – but we won’t go there. It’s all too bad, though, as there was, at the time, a large, willing and generous coalition of private citizens who were prepared to adress this gateway property – and piece of American history – with the respect it deserves. The good news is that, for those who like their poison ivy fresh, I’m told a handy educational pamphlet about the site is now available. Ask the HDC for one. You paid for it.