North District Schoolhouse
The Lakes Region of New Hampshire had many one-room schoolhouses and a few remain today and serve as museums and historical societies The North District School, which served students in rural Dorchester, is among the many one-room schoolhouses that once dotted the New Hampshire landscape. Old schoolhouses — usually consisting of just one room — were a part of the American landscape for decades. Ask a lot of older people and it’s a good bet they once attended a one-room schoolhouse. The charming little buildings were every town’s answer to education and local children from age 5 to 15 or more all sat in one room, taught by a single adult woman or man. Conditions in the schools were on a par with the rest of society’s housing at the time: a woodstove warmed the space and students often were expected to split and carry wood to feed the heat source. A bucket of water served as refreshment and another was for washing hands. Outside, usually hidden behind bushes, sat the outhouse. The village of Dorchester, NH, built a small schoolhouse in 1808 and originally called it the North District School. It was used as a one-room school for area children until 1926. The school’s last teacher was Lena Bosence Walker. It is now located in the historical district of Dorchester.