Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New England Towne Day School, Fairton

Hidden on New England Cross Road in Fairfield Township in Cumberland County sits an abandoned, boarded up building in the middle of a field. It's last known function was (I think) providing transportation for elderly adults, which closed up shop sometime in the 2000s. But the building's original intent was an elementary school called New England Towne Day School. Information on the school is scarce...I can definitively say the school closed after the 1987/88 school year. I was attending the school at the time as a seventh grader. I don't have a date for when the school opened, but I have heard 1971 (unconfirmed).

From attending the school personally, it was very tiny. There were about 5 people per grade and often two grades would be in one classroom under one teacher. The school went from pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade and it was a private school. Rumours were that the principal (new to the 87-88 school year) was so disliked by the parents that they refused to re-enroll their children for the following year. Hence, the enrollment was low and the school closed. Again, this is unconfirmed, but it was chatter I heard from my mother who was also a teacher there (yes, I had my mom for a teacher one year!)

Facing the building, there was a playground to the left, a parking lot on the right, and the back was a huge open field. The back is now overgrown by trees, but I remember many field days in that field! I'm sure I still have my ribbons at my dad's house!

Unfortunately, I can only find my Kindergarten photograph:

And there is this photo of an awkward, overweight, seventh-grade me in the seventh and eighth grade classroom during the final year. I think we were having a carnival day or something:

My dad has 8mm films of me playing on the playground and more photos at his house. I will have to raid them next time I visit. If anyone knows anything more about this school, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. The school operated for two years at the Assembly of God (?) church in Fairton, using the church's Sunday school rooms as classrooms. I attended there and graduated from the eighth grade in 1973.

    If I recall correctly, the school building at New England Crossroads (right up the street from where I lived on Rockville Road) was being built the summer before I graduated. My friend and I rode our bikes up to look at the half-built site. She picked up discarded nails (dropped by roofers, maybe?) and took them home to her dad, who liked to do woodworking.