Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic: Brooklin Schools

Text by Jane Hooper

Images from Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society

Brooklin is a small town that covers a large area on the Blue Hill Peninsula, including about 25 miles of coastline. In 1849, the population was about 1,002 residents; there were 10 school districts with nine rural schools to service 420 students. By 1876, there were only 344 students and nine school districts.

Over the years, as the town's population and transportation methods changed, the one-room schools were either closed or combined. By 1909, only six schools remained. In 1850, schools expenditures in the town budget were $400; by 1950, school expenses were up to $1,500. In 1850, the average teacher's weekly salary was $2; in 1949, it was $44.

How did the town of Brooklin manage to educate the children with the population so spread out? What was it like to be a student in one of the one-room school houses? Why did Brooklin have to build three high schools all on the same site? What has happened to the old rural schools?

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