Much of the expense of this new building seems to have been covered by voluntary contributions, ‘one offering a bell, others lime, brick, paint, or stone, and one a “raising dinner.” ’ In May the town voted £ 50 for this purpose, but as the committee in charge had chosen for the location the spot where the ‘cage’ stood, a site north of the meeting-house, a controversy arose and much opposition was expressed.
July 14 all previous votes were nulled.
Twenty-six citizens now entered a protest; a new meeting was called for August 17, and it was voted to build on the hill near the old house.
The original committee then declined to serve.
In consequence, the selectmen built the house without advisement.
It was ‘30 feet by 20 feet and 12 feet stud, with one floor of sleepers and one floor of joist aloft.’ The bills were approved the following February, and amounted to 104£. 4s. 11d. This structure probably served also as a town house.
But to us a more interesting entry is that of town meeting day, May 18, 1714. ‘Voted £ 4 for a schoolmaster to teach the children to write among our inhabitants near Reding.’ As far as we have been able to discover, this is the first appropriation for school purposes ‘outside the peninsula.’ Every year thereafter, until May 17, 1725, when this amount had increased to £ 9, a sum was thus appropriated for a schoolmaster ‘at ye wood end of the town,’ or ‘for a school of children for writing & reading at the upper end of the town.’ The petition of Captain Benjamin Geary
and fifty-three others ‘to be sett off as a separate town’ was presented on that day, and though their prayer was not granted at first, it resulted in a division of the township, and December 17, 1725, the new town of Stoneham
May 13, 1719, a second school without the peninsula was fostered, namely, at the indefinitely located Mistick-side, by an appropriation of £ 3. This amount was increased to £ 4 for four years following.
In 1724 there seems to have been no vote for this purpose, and May 17, 1725, William Paine
and seventeen others presented a petition to be set off to Malden
This request met the same fate as the other, but no doubt the bounds of the town were adjusted later to the satisfaction of all concerned, for we hear no more of this school at ‘Mistick-side.’