Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Hebron Historical Society

Enjoy Hebron - It's Here To Stay

Anne Ives, Charter Member & Amazing Worker, Passes Away


Less than a day after Anne Ives passed away, this double rainbow appeared over Old Town Hall!

Click here for more about Anne Ives.

This year’s 16th Annual Maple Fest offers a unique opportunity for both residents and visitors.  Two of Hebron’s historic schoolhouses will be open to the public, and an official ceremony will mark the addition of a third schoolhouse, Center School, to Hebron’s list of designated historic properties.

All events will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2006, the first day of Maple Fest.

Members of both the Hebron Historic Properties Commission and the Jones-Keefe-Batson American Legion Post 95 will place the official local historic designation plaque on the Center School at 10:00 a.m.  Other local officials will also be participating in the event.  The public is cordially invited to attend.  The schoolhouse is located on Main Street in the Village Green area, next door to the Douglas Library.

The Center School is one of Hebron’s eleven early schoolhouses, nine of which are still standing.  The school burned down in the Great Fire of 1882, and was rebuilt as a two-room schoolhouse in 1883.  As some of the smaller one-room schoolhouses were closed in the 1930’s, the students were moved to the Center School.  It remained open until the consolidated school in Hebron was built.  Now owned by the Legion, the Center School recently underwent significant renovations performed by Legion and VFW members.

Alexander Breiding will be conducting tours and a program at the Gull Schoolhouse from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Breiding’s Eagle project included extensive exterior renovations to the circa 1790 building.  A member of Hebron’s Troop 28 Boy Scouts, Breiding has entertained many children and adults with his historical programs since his project was completed last August.  The Gull is located on Marjorie Circle, next door to the Horton House. 

Matthew Siok will hold an open house from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse.  Siok, also a member of Troop 28 Boy Scouts, targeted exterior renovations and landscaping of the schoolhouse for his Eagle project last October.  Since then, he has conducted tours for small groups and a Colchester historical group looking to build a replica one-room schoolhouse.  The Burrows Hill Schoolhouse, the oldest one room schoolhouse in Hebron, is located on Burrows Hill Road approximately 1½ miles south of Route 66.

Donna McCalla, written in 2006

Dear Society:

I recently became aware of your existence and of your Gull school restoration.

In the year 1933 I entered the first grade at the Gull school and I attended there through the second grade.  Then, in 1935 the school closed down and we went to school by bus to Amston.  After a few years they started to bus us to Hebron and I graduated from the 2 room elementary school in Hebron.  In Amston, the school was also a one room school but it was much larger with a total enrollment of over 30 children.  At the Gull school we had a total of 6 children.  There were just two of us in the first grade.

The Gull school was located at the corner of the Old Colchester Road and Gull Street.  It was on the southeast corner of a hayfield which was part of my father's farm.  The school remained closed and sometime in the 1940's it was purchased and put up on blocks by the buyer.  About 10 years later it was moved off my father's field after having been there ever since it was built.  When I was a young man I spoke to a resident of Hebron who was part of the family that owned the property back in the early 1900's and she told me that she attended that school in the late 1800's.

I am enclosing 2 pictures of the Gull School taken from the rear of the school by my sister in approximately 1948.

Sincerely Yours,
Selig Lenefsky

Gull School House

Gull School House

For Hebron residents, one of the most significant events marking the start of the 16th Annual Maple Fest took place at the Jones-Keefe-Baston Post 95 American Legion.  Local and state officials gathered at 10:15 on Saturday to celebrate the designation of the building as an official Hebron historic property.   

The American Legion now owns what was once Hebron’s largest schoolhouse, known as the Center School.  The original one room Center Schoolhouse burned down in the Great Fire of 1882, and was rebuilt as a two room schoolhouse in 1883.  Based on research and a subsequent recommendation from the Hebron Historic Properties Commission, an amendment to Town Ordinance 94-1 to include the Center School as an historic property was approved by the Board of Selectmen on January 5, 2006, and became effective February 3, 2006.

The Center School joins other officially designated historic properties in Hebron, which are Old Town Hall, Burrows Hill Schoolhouse, Old Town Records Building, Gull Schoolhouse and Gilead Hill Schoolhouse.

Interim Town Manager Jared Clark welcomed attendees to the event and to the Maple Fest.  “The Maple Fest is an event that we look forward to every year in Hebron, but we will also remember designating the Center School as an historic property for years to come.” 

State Representative Pamela Z. Sawyer stated, “This Maple Fest is unique.  A very special building, important to Hebron history, has been officially added to Hebron’s list of historic properties.  I am honored to participate in this momentous occasion.  Preserving historic buildings is key to preserving Connecticut’s history.”  Acting Chairman of the Hebron Board of Selectmen, Mark Stewart, agreed with Sawyer, noting that “one of the pleasures of being a member of the Board of Selectmen is seeing our community honor its past, and being part of that process.  The Selectmen are especially excited about seeing the Center School being officially declared an historic property.” 

Deena Watson, Chairman of the Historic Properties, also addressed the group.  “The Hebron Historic Properties Commission works hard to identify properties that qualify for local historic designation.  In the past, properties owned by either the Hebron Historical Society or the Town of Hebron have been designated as “historical.”  But now local property owners, such as the American Legion and the Hills family, are showing their commitment to our past.  I am proud to present to the Jones-Keefe-Baston American Legion Post 95 the official plaque designating this important building as a Hebron historic property.”

Ronald Parkyn, Commander of the Hebron VFW, noted that Hebron men and women have answered America’s call to military service for centuries, and said, “We have a new generation of veterans coming in, and these men and women that have served – or who are serving – in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue the traditions of Hebron’s VFW in the years to come.”  Added Daniel Arnini, Commander of the American Legion, “We are proud of our men and women in uniform who have served our country so well.  We are equally proud to be headquartered in a building that was such an integral part of Hebron’s history.”

With Vietnam veteran Ron Winter ringing the school’s bell to signify the moment, the historic designation plaque was placed on the front door by Parkyn and Arnini, to the applause of all present.