The Appleton School House (before 1832)

The Waldingfield Road schoolhouse

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that the lower half of the unusual slender but tall frame house on Waldingfield Rd. was the school house for the Appleton Farms neighborhood: ” Mrs Gerald L. Hoyt daughter of Daniel Fuller Appleton occupies the cottage which was built upon the old Appleton school house as a base.” Historic maps of Ipswich show a schoolhouse opposite of this house on the north side of Waldingfield Road, If Waters was correct, the old school building was moved across the road and reconstructed as a residence.

Arthur Lord wrote about attending the grammar school as a child in his “Recollections of a New England Boyhood 1886-1908. “I first attended, for three years, the one-room Appleton School, about a mile from home on Waldingfield Road. The road climbed a high hill, then descended precipitously to the railroad track, and continued through low woods where pink lady slippers grew. The crossing was dangerous – it was hard to halt a loaded wagon on that steep grade – so the railroad company stationed one of its older employees there in a little cabin. When a train was due, he appeared with a flag by day or a lantern by night. He also seemed to appear whenever I passed by and we soon became friends.”

1834 Ipswich map, closeup of Waldingfield and County Rds.

The 1832 Ipswich map shows the location of the Appleton School.

Map prepared by Arthur Lord of Waldingfield Rd. during his childhood shows the Appleton School across the street from its present location.