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Virtual Tours: The Peter Parley Schoolhouse

Our volunteers Sally and Jack Sanders have created a series of four virtual tours, guided by historian Jack Sanders. Watch the series below.

Our volunteers Sally and Jack Sanders have created a series of four virtual tours, guided by historian Jack Sanders. Click the playlist icon in the top right corner to watch a specific episode.

This program is supported by Fairfield County Bank.

Four-part series; total time: 44 minutes

Part I

The West Lane Schoolhouse, also known as the “Little Red Schoolhouse” and Peter Parley Schoolhouse, sits at the intersection of West Lane and Route 35. It is a building that many Ridgefielders have seen, but few have stepped inside. It functions as a museum currently operated by the Ridgefield Historical Society with exterior landscaping maintained by the Ridgefield Garden Club.

Part II

Jack Sanders talks about school days at the Schoolhouse and points out some of the unique features of the one-room school and its furnishings.

Part III

Two scholars, who got their first taste of education in the early days of the West Lane Schoolhouse, went on to renown, one as the author and publisher of children’s textbooks and the other as a university president. Jack Sanders tells their stories and reads from their memoirs.  

Part IV

Find out how the Schoolhouse operated during the fall and winter seasons. Who attended classes, and how was the school heated? Jack Sanders will read the first pages of two 19th Century history books West Lane students might have used, one by Charles A. Goodrich and one by his brother, Samuel G. Goodrich (as Peter Parley), who both attended the one-room school.

If you were a young student, which would be most likely to hold your attention?

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