Images of the Past: Bloomfield public school, 1857-1875

I have wondered for awhile now if, beneath the backyard at 303 W. North St., there might be a couple of bricks or remains of the foundation of one of Bloomfield’s public schools. In 1846, Bloomfield’s first school, a private one, was held in a house a block west of the town square. Three years later, in 1849, the first public school was built in the southeastern part of the community. It was a frame building 24 by 40 feet in size that could accommodate 50 pupils.

In 1857, the district was divided and two new schools were authorized. The first, a two-story brick building measuring 25 by 38 feet, was constructed in the northwest section of town on West North Street. It is indicated by the number 5 in a detail (above) from Augustus Koch’s 1869 birds-eye drawing of Bloomfield. The following year, a similar school building was constructed in the southeastern part of town.

The two new schools served the students of Bloomfield until they were both replaced in 1875 by a new, three-story school with a mansard-style roof that stood in the center of the Old Elementary Building block. That three-story school was torn down following completion of what we know today as the Old Elementary School. I have been unable to determine when the two 1857–58 buildings were torn down.

Also of note in the birds-eye detail is the large, two-story house that is across the street and to the east of the school. This house, known to some as the Barton house, is located at 202 W. North St. (below right).

                                                           —Rudy Evans  |