schoolhouse more ample in its dimensions and more classic in its appearance than the town's appropriation would procure, cheerfully united in adding to it, by subscription, the sum of nine hundred dollars. This sum was raised by residents of the “West End;” and they who were most able to give, gave with abounding liberality.
The building committee were Messrs. Charles Caldwell
, J. B. Hatch
, and J. M. Usher
; and they spared no pains in procuring a skilful draughtsman.
Mr. George A. Caldwell
was the master-builder.
On the 6th of August, 1851, the corner-stone was laid with appropriate religious and literary exercises.
Edward Brooks, Esq.
, presided, and made the opening remarks.
Prayer was offered by Rev. E. K. Fuller
; and then an original poem was spoken by a pupil, followed with short speeches by neighbors and friends.
The house is placed between Irving and Brooks Streets, on the hill, where pure air comes from the heavens, and pure water from the earth,--the one securing a healthy ventilation, and the other as healthy a digestion.
On the 22d of December, 1851, a day chosen in honor of the Pilgrim Fathers
who landed at Plymouth
, the house was dedicated.
The company was numerous, and the enthusiasm great.
Prayers were offered by Rev. Dr. Ballou
, the senior pastor in the town; and the dedicatory address was delivered by the writer of this history, and afterwards published by request.
An original poem, strikingly adapted to the occasion, was recited by a lad eight years old. Before the crowd separated, the chairman proposed from the committee that the school should be called the Brooks School
This was voted by acclamation; and thus ended our literary festival.
We wish it were in our power to name the teachers of our public schools, who have filled their high and sacred office through many years with such distinguished fidelity and success.
Usage forbids this; but let every such teacher be assured that he has a reward infinitely higher than the applause of men.
There were twelve female and four male teachers employed by the town in 1854.
The schools are reported as in excellent condition.
The following abstract of the monthly reports of the teachers embraces the whole of the year 1854:--