Bullit Hill School, Southbury, CT
The recorded history of Southbury, CT, dates back to 1673. The first purchase from the Pootatuck Indians was dated April 26, 1673. According to research in Ancient Woodbury Town Records, Bullet Hill School, which was first called the Brick School and located on Main Street in Southbury, was built in 1762. The school was named from the fact that the clay for the school’s bricks came from nearby Bullet Hill. How the hill got that name is a little unclear. It was said that bullets were made there during the Revolutionary War and melted down in a fireplace at the school to be used again, and that women cast bullets for the army, or the Southbury Militia shot into the hill while drilling for firing practice during the War. Recent research conducted by Dorothy Manville of Southbury, seems to indicate that the first class was held in December, 1769. It is listed as the oldest public school building in continuous use in the United States as it was in continuous use for 179 years until December 1941 when the new Southbury consolidated school, now known as Gainfield School, was built. The building was saved in the 1960s and restored in the 1970s by the Friends of Bullet Hill School, which became the Southbury Historical Society in 1974. Bullet Hill School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest public building in the town of Southbury. In 1986, plans were made to utilize Bullet Hill School as a unique historical site for a Living Museum Program for students to learn about a local historical landmark and the educational experience of an earlier time period. It is now maintained by the town and the Historical Society and for over twenty years has hosted a living history program for the region’s third graders.