Recalling Oxford’s Early History
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
three hills in the background represent the three general hills of
Oxford -- Chestnut Tree Hill, Governors Hill, and Good Hill or Pisgah
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
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.
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.
Oxford Historical Society
Educator; Move a Schoolhouse
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.