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Green (Centre) Schoolhouse Restoration, Slideshow & Overview


The Green (Centre) District Schoolhouse on Canterbury green is the last one-room district school in town that is open to the public. After the Dr. Helen Baldwin School opened in 1947, most of the town’s remaining one-room schools passed to other uses or were lost. However, to alleviate baby boom overcrowding at the Dr. Helen Baldwin School, the Green School was used for some kindergarten classes into the mid 1950s.

The building later housed the town’s library, until in 2001 the library moved to the new municipal building off Route 14. The Green School has never had indoor plumbing, and by 2001, the Canterbury Public Library was one of the last in the state without bathroom facilities. The short road off Route 169 leading to the Green School is still named Library Road.

A volunteer committee of the Canterbury Historical Society began restoring the Green School in 2002, and their work, other than ongoing maintenance, is now complete. Major aspects of the restoration included:

  • A new roof
  • Electrical upgrades
  • Restoring the second front door, which had been replaced with a window. (Two front doors are typical—one entrance was for girls, the other for boys.)
  • Restoring the large granite steps to the two front doors
  • Stabilizing the bell tower, which still holds its original, functional bell
  • Removing the drop ceiling to expose the old wooden ceiling
  • Rehanging the old electric globe ceiling lights, found stored in the attic
  • Returning the windows on the north and south sides to their 19th century configurations. (All the windows on the south side had been removed, and those on the north side had been enlarged.)
  • Repairing old plaster where possible, and applying new lath and plaster where required
  • Replicating lost interior wood trim
  • Rebuilding the brick chimney and installing a period stove (which came from another one-room school in the area)
  • Removing layers of added flooring and adhesive to expose the original wood floor
  • Painting the interior and exterior
  • Collecting appropriate furnishings and classroom accessories

Thousands of volunteer hours later, the building is looking good and period-correct on the outside. Although it dates to the 19th century, the society interprets it as an early 20th century district school. This decision hinged on the fact that we have more primary sources from the later period, particularly for the interior, including the living memory of alumni and teachers.

The society is very grateful for the generosity and commitment of past and present volunteers and donors, without whom the Green School restoration would not have been possible.

Naturally, the building requires ongoing maintenance. Current Green School Committee members are:

Steve Orlomoski, Chairperson
Val Galasyn
Bill Kivic
Ray Moffitt
Alton Orlomoski

The Green district school is open in warm weather on a regular weekend schedule that is published on this website and announced to the media. In addition, whenever possible, we try to accommodate in-season special requests from visitors. You can make a special request to visit the school by sending a message using the Contact Us page on this website. Admission to the schoolhouse is always free and the public is cordially invited.

Canterbury-Themed Note Cards

These handsome note cards are available in three designs—John Warner Barber’s well-known 1835 woodcut of Canterbury Green, plus two exclusive pen and ink drawings by society member and former president, Walter Moriarty, showing the Green Schoolhouse and Westminster Congregational Church. The cards are approximately 4 1/2″ x 6″, are printed on quality ivory paper, and come 10 to a pack with matching envelopes. Available either in a single design or assortment packs containing all three designs.

Canterbury: The First 300 Years

Created by the society in celebration of the town’s tercentenary in 2003, this book is part of the Arcadia Images of America series. It provides glimpses of the people, places, and events that contributed to our town’s rich and sometimes quirky history.

The Canterbury Historical Society’s own Amy E. Orlomoski and A. Constance Sear are the authors. Together, with the collaboration of Bill Kivic and other society members, they sifted through thousands of photographs from the society’s archives and from private collections to put together Canterbury: The First 300 Years. Now in its second printing, this book delights and informs residents and visitors alike.

Green Schoolhouse Stoneware Crock

Exclusive-design pottery jar pictures the one-room Canterbury Green District School, a landmark 19th century building restored by the Canterbury Historical Society.

Using traditional methods, artisans of Grandville Hollow Pottery in central Pennsylvania wheel throw every piece, decorate it by hand, glaze it, and fire it at over 2300 degrees F. Molds and jiggers are not used. The slight variations in shape, size, and color resulting from the handmade process make each jar truly one of a kind. Lead-free, dishwasher and microwave safe, these jars can also be used in a conventional oven provided extreme rapid temperature changes are avoided. Seven inches tall. Holds approximately one quart.

Canterbury Green School Tee

Canterbury-proud tees picture the 19th century one-room Green School, which has been restored over the past few years by a dedicated group of Canterbury Historical Society volunteers. Available in five colors: navy, heather red, purple, dark green, and gray. The heather red shirts are a 50/50 cotton and polyester blend; all other colors are 100% preshrunk cotton.

Thanks to All Who Contributed to the July Red Cross Blood Drive Hosted by the Canterbury Historical Society

ThankkYouPostItIn summer, blood supplies are often low, but the need is not. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

We thank the generous folks who donated blood to help others at our July 13 drive; along with long-time Canterbury Historical Society blood drive chairs, Lynne and Les Pitman; ten additional volunteers who gave their time; and everyone who contributed refreshments or funds for their purchase. We are renowned for the quality of the snacks we serve, including fresh fruit salad, home-baked goods, and pieces of subs. Special kudos to Better Value Supermarket for donating the subs, which are always a hit with the blood donors.

The Red Cross was able to schedule only 21 appointments for us as a result of the drive at St. Augustine Catholic Church just five days earlier. We’ve asked the Red Cross not to schedule another Canterbury drive so close to ours in the future, and they assure us they won’t. As usual, we had several no-shows, but walk-in donors more than compensated. A total of 30 pints were collected. Jeff, our Red Cross contact, gave us high praise for all our promotional signage and our café.