School teachers in those days boarded at various homes. Multiple grade levels and ages were taught at one time, from first through eighth grades. Class began early with the teacher ringing a hand bell to call the children into the building. Children from local farms walked to and from school a long distance and carried their lunches in metal lunch pails. There is a wood-burning stove in the center of the classroom that is vented to the outside via a large pipe. Families paid for their children’s education in those early days with cords of wood for the winter. There were no child labor laws back then and boys were needed for chores on the farm in winter, therefore, girls attended school longer.
As there was no indoor plumbing for restrooms, there was a two-door outhouse located directly at the rear of the building as can be seen in the historic photograph. The Avon Historical Society remodeled a one-door outhouse and in 2012, they held a ribbon cutting ceremony! Today the outhouse sits to the south of the school house. It is a wonderful lesson for modern day kids to see how it was for children back in the farming days. All learning was done by conventional teaching, and reading was taught using a ‘primer’. There is a black board on a side wall where the teacher used chalk to write on. A rather interesting set up, is two chalkboards on a pulley and rope system behind the teacher’s desk, that could be raised and lowered one behind the other. There is a built-in storage cabinet behind the boards with inset door panels mirroring those of the entry doors.
The school operated from 1865 until 1949, a period of eighty-four years. Interestingly its history is sandwiched between the end of the American Civil War and post-World War II. This period also marked Avon’s transition from an agricultural community to a bedroom community. The building continued to be used for many years by civic organizations, as a nursery school, and also a branch library. Today it is cared for by members of the Avon Historical Society and opened to the public during the summer months. A Society member gives guided tours that allow visitors to step back in time to the days of early education. The school can be opened by appointment at other times and also for student field trips. Avon Historical Society began leasing the school house in 1975 and with a matching grant from the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, began restoration efforts completed in 1976.  This building is a treasured relic of the past as one-room schoolhouses are being lost to modernity.
Reminiscences from a pupil in the last year of operation, the class of 1949
“The retired Rural Superintendent of Schools, Lewis S. Mills, came to visit one day. He was dressed completely in black and had one shoe with a large lift to accommodate his one very short leg. Consequently, he walked with an obvious limp. I’d not met him before and was just a bit taken back by his attire and gait. We were told he was coming and he would like to ‘visit’ with us. He had a little project for the first – third grade and another for the older students in fourth – sixth grade. He asked me and another youngster to join him in the entryway where he instructed us about our part in a little play or skit we put on for the class. I had no idea how to “be” in a play so was quite nervous. His voice was calm and he seemed very pleasant so we just did our best to follow his directions. For the life of me I’ve no recollection about the play – what it was about or how well or poorly we performed, but he praised and thanked us and that memory has stayed with me for nearly 73 years.”
“Then the older classes were given paper and pencil and a ruler by our visitor. He instructed them to make a point with the pencil using the measurements he called out. Then he would have them draw a line to join two points – and then another and another. When the students completed the steps, each had drawn a beautiful log cabin and the perspective was perfect! As an adult, I asked my mother if she had any idea if that drawing was still among my brother’s treasures. We gave up looking and decided it was lost to the ages. My recollections of Mr. Lewis went from a somewhat ominous and scary man to a kind man with patience and a love for teaching children new and useful things - all in a matter of about an hour!”
 Nora O. Howard, Town of Avon 2016 Plan of Conservation and Development, Chapter 6 Historic Resources, 59,
 Farmington River Watershed Association, Lower Farmington River/Salmon Brook Outstanding Resource Values: Outstanding Resource Value: Historic and Cultural Landscape, November 23, 2009, 22, http://lowerfarmingtonriver.org/docs/appendix-4-historic-and-cultural-landscape-background-report.pdf
 Sarah Zimmerman, Pine Grove Historic District, Connecticut Historical Commission, 2009, https://www.livingplaces.com/CT/Hartford_County/Avon_Town/Pine_Grove_Historic_District.html
 Avon Historical Society website, www.avonhistoricalsociety.org