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Two Ridgefield Schoolhouses added to State Register of Historic Places

West Lane/Peter Parley Schoolhouse and Branchville Schoolhouse recognized as historically significant buildings by the Historic Preservation Council of the State of Connecticut.

The Historic Preservation Council of the State of Connecticut voted on June 5, 2024 to add both the West Lane/Peter Parley Schoolhouse and the Branchville Schoolhouse to the State Register of Historic Places

These two buildings are owned by the Town of Ridgefield and were nominated by the Ridgefield Historical Society, which leases and maintains the West Lane/Peter Parley Schoolhouse as a small museum, and hopes to restore the Branchville Schoolhouse for use as an exhibit and community space. The West Lane/Peter Parley Schoolhouse is at the intersection of South Salem Road, West Lane and Silver Spring Road; the old Branchville Schoolhouse is on lower Old Branchville Road.

Branchville Schoolhouse on lower Old Branchville Road

The addition of the schools to the Connecticut Register of Historic Places means that they have been assessed by the State Historic Preservation Office and found to reflect an integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship. In the case of the West Lane school, the school is also of interest because of some of its graduates, including Samuel G. Goodrich, who wrote wildly popular children’s books in the 19th Century as Peter Parley. Both schools were the subjects of extensive applications, which included detailed scholarly reports by Dr. Daryn Reyman Lock, who the Ridgefield Historical Society hired to examine each building’s history and construction. 

Being on the Register of Historic Places is generally a requirement for grants to rehabilitate and preserve antique structures. The West Lane/Peter Parley Schoolhouse was also recently added to the National Schoolhouse Register by the Country School Association of America, the first in Connecticut to be added.

To read more about and contribute to our Branchville Schoolhouse restoration project click here:


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