West Branch Schoolhouse


To my dear friend and schoolmate, Mrs. Lydia Pike Sargent:

Do you remember when we first met, long, long ago

In the schoolhouse on the "Branch"

Where the mark we had to toe?

We were pupils, you and I

With some twenty five or thirty more,

Oh happy days, happy days.

Are there more laid up in store?

Our teacher, one Robinson by name,

We thought him wondrous wise;

If he were here on earth to-day

We'd laud him to the skies.

'Twas in eighteen fifty five,

The fall we were sixteen

We knew more than we have since

With all the years between.

Can you recall them one by one

Those pupils with honor bright?

I will try what I can do

With you to set me right.

The McAllisters, Martha, Mary and Gilman;

Another family of that name with a George and Sylvester;

There was a girl came from there-

Hardly think she was their sister.

(Afterwards Mrs. Emma Brown of Waterbury)

Then the Bigelows, Edwin, Ira and Walter,

Then a Slayton we called "Cate",

Corrie and Carroll Robinson-

Lucky then none knew their fate.

There were the Pike boys, George and "Dikte",

And another cousin of yours, her name I cannot recall,

She left this life after a few short years-

Oh, how it grieved us all.

Lucinda and Kimber Barnes,

Stoddard Nutting and Richard Mower,

Augusta Marshall and a Foster girl (Janet?)

Sylvander, Seneca, Harrison and Ahira Poor,

Gertrude and Georgiana Luce;

George Dake, from where I cannot recall,

Olive Handy and yourself and your humble servant-

How many can answer that roll call?

But we'll meet them by and by

In their homes "Over there"

Where separations are no more,

And we are free from fret and care.

In just fourteen days more

Unless the lord calls a halt,

I'll be eighty years old

And I cannot earn my salt,

But I'm left here on earth,

It must be for a purpose true:

Now dear friend and schoolmate

Adieu, Adieu.

Sera Thompson Judson, Stowe, VT. 

November 12, 1919

The school prior to a renovation in 1926.

The "new" school, renovated to bring it up to the current standards, after 1926.

A typical class at the West Branch Schoolhouse.

The 1934 class photo at the West Branch.

Interior view of the classroom the last year the building was a school-1953.  The next year, the "new elementary school" in its present location, would be open to all.  


Back in the mid-to-late 1800's, Stowe was blessed with 19 different schools including the Village School and 18 other "neighborhood" or District Schools, as they were called.  Built in 1878, the West Branch Schoolhouse was located at the corner of Luce Hill Road and Mountain Road.  To the right are rare photos from the SHS collection of this school and some of its classes.

Upon completion of the new Elementary School in 1953-4, the remaining open district schools closed and from that point until 2006, the West Branch School was home to St. John's in the Mountains Episcopal Church.

Today, the building has been relocated to 90 School Street and is the new home to the Stowe Historical Society and Museum.  The Society was formerly housed, since it charter in 1956, in the Akeley Memorial Building.

The new headquarters and museum is now open!