Getting Educated

South Durham School 1886

South Durham School 1886

A primitive schoolhouse was established by the proprietors ten years before the town was incorporated. In 1785 the plantation was divided into two school districts; the town in 1790 voted to have six school districts, each with its one-room school. The townspeople preferred schools to which children could walk, which could be maintained by people working off taxes, and which could be served by one poorly-paid teacher. In 1890 there were thirteen school districts. Attempts to establish larger, two-room schools were again and again voted down as too expensive at town meetings.

Finally, in 1960, a four-room consolidated school was established – the core of what is now Durham Elementary and Middle School. Several additions have since been added to accommodate the more than 430 students who presently attend.