Help Bring the Children back to Mr. Munn's Schoolhouse through Restoration and Preservatio


Oxford Historical Society, Oxford, CT 06478

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2021 Membership Form,   Bylaws,   Collections Policy


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Resources on Oxford History


Oxford Historical Society

peach fest poster

   The Oxford Historical Society will host its 14th annual Peach Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 21, at the Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Rd., Seymour.
   Homemade shortcake will be served, topped with fresh peaches and Rich Farm peach ice cream. The $5 ticket covers admission and food. A choice of beverages will be available for an additional cost. All proceeds will go towards restoring the Munn Schoolhouse, an 1850 one-room school moved to the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead campus at 60 Towner Lane in 2019 and currently undergoing restoration.
   This year’s theme celebrates S. B. Church, his life, business, legacy and home. Stephen B. Church (1866 – 1951) built a very successful artesian well business in Oxford. He converted his childhood farmhouse to the mansion, Oxfordshire, which still stands at 53 Great Hill Road, and made large contributions to his hometown, including the S. B. Church Memorial Town Hall. Photographic displays will include vintage never-before-seen photographs of antique farm equipment sold by Church, windmills constructed by his company, and wells being drilled from company archives. Over one hundred photos of Oxfordshire will also be displayed. 
   The festival will also showcase displays of the Hale-Coleman Peach Farm that was located on Great Hill and Peach Farm Roads. Peach growing was once a major enterprise in Seymour and Oxford.  
   Those seeking additional information may call Nancy Farnum at 203 888-0230.

July August Newsletter,  Click on icon to see full page or click HERE to download print-ready PDF file
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   bicentennial seal - larger         Recalling Oxford’s Early History

The Oxford Town Seal is based on this drawing by Foster Sperry for the 1976 Bicentennial of the American Revolution. It contains elements which explain the town's early history

The water-powered mill in the foreground depicts early Oxford industry, which was common along the streams and waterfalls of the town. On the ox-drawn cart is a hogshead of molasses, which was moved from New Haven to Oxford for use in area stills.  The ox cart is crossing the Little River at an ox ford.

The treaty oak is at left. This was the boundary between the Indians of Chusetown (now called Seymour) and the Indians of Woodbury. Under this tree an early land purchase was made by the white men from the Indians. 

The three hills in the background represent the three general hills of Oxford -- Chestnut Tree Hill, Governors Hill, and Good Hill or Pisgah Mountain.

The church between the hills was included as a symbol to show that the first efforts at town government were the establishment of a local parish of Oxford.

The stone wall shows the rocky nature of the land, and a herd of sheep grazing in a field fenced by a split rail zig-zag fence.  Sheep and other livestock were driven through Oxford on their way from Litchfield County to New Haven.

Community Funders Support Work on Schoolhouse

Oxford Historical Society is pleased to report the Mr Munn Schoolhouse restoration project is moving forward now that 2020 grants have been distributed by area funders.
   In July the Valley Community Foundation presented the OHS with $12,400 to pay for the work on the corner post of the schoolhouse.  This stage also requires the replacement of the floor beams before the floor can be repaired and floorboards replaced.
   This work is continuing with area restoration carpenter Eric Iott of Seymour. Eric did the initial repairs including stabilizing the building before its move from the Oxford Road site where it had been for two centuries.
   Additionally notification was received that a request to the Katherine Matthies Foundation was granted. This brought an additional $5400 for the schoolhouse restoration project.
   In August the Town of Oxford provided $1500 from its annual budget in support of Oxford Historical Society. This year the funds are going toward replacing clapboards on the schoolhouse.
   The Society has received a bid for period appropriate roofing for the schoolhouse.  The installation of red cedar shingles will depend on our pending application for necessary funds from a local grant source.  The Community Support Committee voted recently to recommend the Board of Selectmen approve $4,800 from funds received from the Power Plant agreement
     OHS also received a bid for replacing missing and damaged clapboards. The funds received so far are inadequate to pay for that portion of the schoolhouse restoration, but there are hopes the Oxford Founders Day online fundraiser will contribute to accomplishing that stage, bringing the school much closer to completion and opening to the public.

   Once the schoolhouse has been restored, the Historical Society intends to use it to offer children from the Oxford Schools an authentic “Day in a One Room School” experience.

     The health of our community is our primary concern. As part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the First and Third Sunday Open Houses at the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead until further notice.
     We will resume the Open Houses when conditions improve. In the meantime, everybody please be safe, and follow us on facebook for a regular supply of local history and vintage photos.

Oxford Historical Society

Honor an Educator; Move a Schoolhouse

    The Oxford Historical Society offers area residents an opportunity to honor an educator, while supporting the preservation of the 1850’s one-room school known as Mr. Munn’s Schoolhouse. Originally built as a private schoolhouse, it was later used by the Oxford's First School District as a “select school,” where advanced students could be prepared for college.

     The building, formerly located at 561 Oxford Road, was moved to the Historical Society's Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum campus at 60 Towner Lane. There the Society will restore and preserve the building to offer children and adults the experience of a day in a one-room schoolhouse.

     To support the move, the Society has launched the “Honor an Educator” program. Supporters can make a $5 donation to the preservation program in honor of an educator. In return they will receive a special note card to be sent to the teacher they wish to honor. Donors will also receive an acknowledgement of their tax-deductible gift to the Society.

     Forms to “Honor an Educator” may be found HERE on the Society's website or picked up at the Town Clerk's Office. They are also available at the Homestead Museum on the first and third Sundays of each month from 2-4 p.m.

      Donations through the Honor an Educator program will enable the development of a hands-on, living history program that will teach today’s students about education in Oxford in the past, and honor the heritage of educators who have helped Oxford’s children become useful members of society. Your support is appreciated.