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“Rehoboth’s One Room Schools”

Compiled by Pat Cleavland?



            The first school in the Hornbine District # 10, was built at the curve in the road on Spring Street near the Cole Brook Cemetery. It was called the Cole Brook School. When Hannah Baker, grandmother of Florence Piece of Swansea attended this school in 1825, sessions were held during the winter months only.

          Lizzie Baker Cole, daughter of Lizzie Douglas Baker, who taught here in 1868-1869, stated that the land was given by her grandmother, Mrs. Nathaniel (Susan Pierce) Baker and that the school was built in 1847. Lizzie attended school there in 1848 and her teacher was Julia Willington.

            The wooden shutters still on the Hornbine School were used as shutters in the early years. Mrs. Amelia Horton Carpenter who taught here before the turn of the century wrote , “every night after school it would require at least 20 minutes to go outside, unlock shutters, go inside, open the window, hook the shutter, close the window, place a stick over the lower sash. Why it was necessary I did not know, some days not a person passed the school.”

          Originally the building had two windows on the south and two on the north sides, a chimney on the back with flanking windows. The early Town Reports referred to District #10  as South East School. The town purchased additional land for the school house lot from Lizzie Baker for $50. in the 1890’s. An outhouse building with a boys and a girls side with a wood shed in the middle was built at this time. In 1923 the building was extended 14 feet in the back, and two more windows were added to each side leaving no windows on the back. Attendance was as high as 49 pupils in 1928 with eight grades. Ester Hopkins was the last teacher. The school closed in 1937 and the 14 pupils left were sent to Swansea Box Street School. The school had been named the Hornbine School in 1882.

           The building was sold and changed hands several times. During the 325th Anniversary or Rehoboth in 1968, the school was purchased by the Hornbine School Association through the efforts of many and given back to the town. Under the jurisdiction of the Historical Commission the school is now operating as a one-room school museum by The Hornbine School Association.