[The following paper was read by Mr. Charles Cummings
before the Medford
Historical Society, November 17, 1902.
The first part of this paper was devoted to the churches.
The history of the various religious organizations has been, or will be, given in detail in the Register, and is therefore omitted here.—editor.]
T Symmes Corner, which was a part of Medford
till the incorporation of Winchester
in 1850, a primary school of twenty-six scholars was kept in a small room in a private residence.
The West Primary school, of twenty-three pupils, which, till that year, had been allowed three months vacation in winter, was kept in that small building near the brook on the south side of High street, which became a victim of the tornado in 1851, while a new house was being erected for it on the corner of Irving and Brooks streets.
That ancient brick schoolhouse in the rear of the Unitarian Church, which had sheltered the West Grammar
and High schools till 1843, was occupied during the two winters of 1846-8 by a school exclusively of boys, who, from age or want of qualification, could have no place in any of the other schools.
It was demolished in 1848.
In 1843 the High school was removed to the third story and the West Grammar school
to the second story of the new house on High street. The brick basement of the building served as cloak and playroom for both schools.
The South Primary and Alphabet schools were located in a house on Union street, which in 1858 was sold, and became a dwelling house on Main street.
The East Alphabet
was kept in a small, unsightly brick structure on Cross street, whose age cannot be ascertained, but which certainly had its origin before the discovery that children needed a constant supply of fresh air as surely as they needed bread and butter three times a day. The school committee of 1851 reported that the school had previously been almost a nullity from its crowded state and the miserable ventilation of the room,