Seven One - Room Schoolhouses 
The one - room schoolhouse was the original backbone of New Fairfield's public education system. According to this 1867 map, the town was divided into seven districts with one schoolhouse per district to serve students. Home location determined what district a family belonged in and which schoolhouse their children would attend. These seven schoolhouses were named Ball Pond, Centreville, East Centre, Great Hollow, Great Meadow, West Centre, and Wood Creek.
School Days
Each schoolhouse had one teacher regardless of the number of students that attended. Teachers were often women but men did teach as well. Only single women could be schoolteachers, if they married they had to give up teaching. Men were allowed to teach no matter their marital status. Townspeople would take turns boarding the schoolteachers in their homes. Classes were scheduled year-round, however attendance was not compulsory. Boys were often working on the farm during planting and harvest times. Girls might be kept home to help around the house, cooking or cleaning and caring for younger siblings.
There were usually two doors entering the one -room schoolhouse, girls entered through one side while boys entered through the opposite side. There was no running water or bathroom, water was brought from a nearby well and an outhouse accompanied each schoolhouse. Children would bring food from home for lunch. Boys were put to work bringing in firewood mornings before school for the stove. Older students could be assigned a younger one to help learn their lessons. More often than not the children were siblings or cousins of different ages. Children could start school as early as three years old.
Seven Districts
Seven school districts operating as one town's school system.
West Centre School
Located at 19 Brush Hill Rd.  The school house is maintained by the Historical Society as a Living Museum.
Centreville School
Located at the corner of Rte. 37 and Pine Hill Rd. The building is now part of a private residence.
East Centre School
Ball Pond School
Located on Ball Pond along Rte. 39. This building was moved and relocated to Bigelow Rd. It is now part of a private residence.
Wood Creek School
Great Hollow School
Great Meadow School
Minutes from a Lawful Meeting  of ye South Society of New Fairfield 1756
The inscription was taken from a meeting at the "South Society" of New Fairfield, CT in December 1756. At one time, New Fairfield emcompassed the boundaries of both New Fairfield and Sherman, CT. The South Society was within the town boundaries of current New Fairfield. The "North Society" was within the current day 
town of Sherman. The Societies were separate entities when they split into two towns in 1810.
This is the first mention of the town supporting schools in the Society's archives. It mentions Ball Pond (the pond), Beaver Bogs (Centreville,) and Wood Creek (wood Crick) as schools existing in town in 1756. The earliest record of West Centre School appears on a 1852 map of New Fairfield.
Carolyn Rogers Diary

The Diary of 15 year old West Centre student, Carolyn Rogers chronicles the life and times in New Fairfield during the year 1861. Her first entry relates her anguish over the loss of her 2 year old sister Emma on Christmas Day 1860.  


"One week tonight since dear little Emma left us for the "Happy Land" of which she loved to sing. "O! blessed happy child to find the God of Heaven so near and kind." 

Death of a young child was commonplace in New Fairfield during the 19th century when diseases like scarlet fever spread amongst the townspeople. The young and the very old were susceptible to losing their lives before the discovery of antibiotics.