Milk Row School to 1849.1
Those who have interested themselves in the history of Charlestown
schools previous to 1842, as it has appeared in recent numbers of Historic Leaves
, need not be told that the first recorded date which we have of a public school being established outside the Peninsula
, on what is now Somerville
soil, was in 1728.
Unfortunately this statement can hardly be said to be substantiated until 1736, when the record is somewhat more explicit.
But it will be safe to say, I think, that the Milk Row School, the only one in Somerville
of that day, was established not far from 1730.
A school a short distance beyond Alewife Brook
, on Arlington
soil, but drawing its scholars from a point as far south as the Old Powder House
, may have been of an equal age; both were for ‘instructing youth in reading, writing, and ciphering.’
It is not my intention to repeat what has already appeared in print, but for the sake of completeness it seems advisable to emphasize a few points.
Just when the first Milk Row Schoolhouse was built will probably never be known.
That one was standing in 1780 is inferred from references on the town books to repairs made thereon.
Undoubtedly it stood where later structures were built, on the easterly corner of the cemetery lot, Somerville Avenue.
May 5, 1777, the town voted to fix up ‘the block house’ for a schoolhouse.
Just where this building stood I have not been able to learn.
In previous articles on this subject I went on the