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Historic Schoolhouses

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High St.
  • High Street (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Three schools along High Street in Westwood trace the nineteenth-century history of education in Massachusetts. All three schools were originally built for the west parish of Dedham, before the creation of the Town of Westwood in 1897. The District 8 (later Coburn) School (649 High Street, NRD) and the District 9 (later Fisher) School (830 High Street, NRD) were both built in 1847 as part of the rapid expansion and improvement in school architecture inspired by the writings and lobbying of Horace Mann, secretary (1837–1849) of the new Massachusetts State Board of Education. The Fisher School was moved and restored in 1897 as a new home for the Westwood Historical Society. It is a classic example of its kind, a single-story Greek temple-form building with separate doors for boys and girls. The District 8 School of the same date was originally located at 660 High Street but was moved across the street in 1874 to make way for a new and larger Coburn School, now the school administration building. Named in honor of the Coburn family, many members of whom were important educators, the Second Empire–style clapboard building contained four classrooms and an auditorium for town business. After the establishment of Westwood, the institutional life of the community was further served by the construction of Town Hall (NRD), designed by Stebbins and Watkins in 1910–1911 at 580 High.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Historic Schoolhouses", [, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 529-529.

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