Lower Corner School Museum
Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Open to the public during open houses held in the summer and fall. See the Calendar of Events page for time and dates.
In 1806, the children of Lower Corner attended the Potash School by Potash Pond, which is now called Little's Pond. That schoolhouse burned in 1825, but it was rebuilt by the following year, when the area was divided into two school districts - Little Pond, or #3, and John Quincy Adams, or #16. Thereafter, #16 served most of the children from the Lower Corner area.
The Lower Corner School was created in 1825 as John Quincy Adams School when people of the district voted a tax of $193.70 for the purpose of building a schoolhouse. The Sandwich Historical Society Sixth Annual Excursion recorded memories of Henry Holmes, a student at the Lower Corner School in the late 1840s: "The schoolhouse was about 25 feet square, had a double-plank door, small high windows, and was underpinned with pasture stone. The floor inside rose about three feet toward the back of the room. The house was heated by a large fireplace supplied by a huge pile of trees and four-foot wood that was brought in by the armful. To be safe from sparks a hearth extended some ten feet from the fireplace with a low front seat as the safe distance for warming. The face was burning while the back was freezing. All from the back seats came down by turn to thaw out. Frocks and flannel gowns were not able to keep boys and girls in tolerable comfort."
In 1839, when districts were numbered, it became #16. It was known as that until 1886, when the districts were renamed and then it was called Lower Corner School.
An addition was built about 1938 providing indoor toilet facilities and storage. A half-acre playground was added the following year. In 1943 Ruth Vittum taught fifteen pupils there. This building served the children of Lower Corner until 1944, when the shortage of teachers forced the closing and the children were transported to the Center School.
Due to overcrowding of the Center School, in April 1946 there evolved a plan for the fall term whereby Lower Corner School would be used as a junior high school and the seventh and eighth grades would be transported to it from all sections of town.* The opening of the new Central School in the center brought an end to the era of Sandwich's one- and two-room schools. The last students to graduate from the old schools received their diplomas on June 13, 1950. After serving as a private summer home for many years, the Sandwich Historical Society purchased the building in March 1990.
The Lower Corner School is open to the public during open houses held in the summer and fall.
(*Note - this description is from excerpted from the book Exposed, Unbanked, Weatherbeaten, Knowledge Box: The Schools of Sandwich, New Hampshire 1802-1950