Geer Hill Schoolhouse, Ledyard, CT
Ledyard, Connecticut, is traditional community in the eastern part of the state, consisting of of twisting roads, craggy hills, and, oh yes, one-room schoolhouses. More of the old schoolhouses survive in Ledyard, it is believed, than any other town in the state. In Connecticut, one-room schools legally passed out of service after World War II because of new state mandates on education. The little buildings, now unneeded, disappeared one by one. By the mid-1950’s, the occasional one that had survived was regarded as a curio, a quaint reminder of a bygone age. In Ledyard, however, at heart is a town of thrifty Yankees anchored by Colonial-era families like the Geers and the Allyns, people do not tear down recklessly. They make do. They save. They convert buildings to other uses. So the one-room schoolhouses survived, in part at least because there had been so many of them. In the middle of the last century, Ledyard had no fewer than 14 separate school districts, each with its own one-room school. The Geer Hill School is located on Route 117 that virtually bisects Led yard. The school perches just off the road, in front of a huge rock formation, as it has since long before anyone now living in Ledyard was born. It is currently owned by an alumni association whose members meet at the one-room structure every few years to share lemonade, cookies and many memories. Next door to the school, which in Ledyard means at least several hundred feet away, lives Robert Geer, who went to the school more than half a century ago.