Anne Hutchinson School has been in the news lately. I had little information about the school itself, but I have been looking through a folder of old clippings on loan from Jim Garman, and I came across an article about the dedication. There were familiar names in the article. H. Frank Anthony was the chairman of the school board. Howard Hathaway was the President of the Town Council. The Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company provided the land for the school.

Hutchinson School at Dedication 1928

The dedication ceremony itself began with the children of Quaker Hill School singing patriotic songs. From the article it appears that 150 students had been crowded into Quaker Hill School with half day lessons and they would be attending the new school. The representative of the Rhode Island Department of Education, Dr. Charles Carroll, expressed pleasure that the school was named for Anne Hutchinson. Anne, he said, “established the first class for home education in the United States”. Carroll noted that the town voted to establish a school in 1716 (Southermost School built int 1725) and in 1916 the town built Quaker Hill School (now the current administration building) which was considered the finest rural school house in the state. Town Clerk George Hicks noted that Weyerhaeuser had conveyed the three acre property to the town as a free gift. Hicks talked about attending Bristol Ferry School and how careful the students were to not mar any surfaces.

Every room of the school had potted plants and cut flowers from Mr. Vanderbilt’s Oakland Farm greenhouses. Pictures were loaned by noted Portsmouth artist Sarah Eddy.

The article describes the building:

“The new building, completed and up-to-date in brick, with four classrooms, teachers sitting room and office for the superintendent. In the basement are the coatrooms, with arrangements for children’s coats, and a playroom large enough for all the pupils. The sanitary arrangement are the best. The artesian well was put down by Whitworth and Bridge. Charles F. Grinnell and Son of Tiverton were the contractors for the entire building. The many large windows make the lighting in the class rooms perfect. These rooms are two west of the corridor, and two east, with office rooms branching from the classrooms. The building cost, completed, approximately $35,000. The grading on the lawn was by Howard Hathaway.”