NEW MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL IN THE TEENS AND TWENTIES

by Alan Dodd


The high school was on Main Street in New Milford in the building now known as the Paul Richmond Senior Center. The town furnished the building, hired the teachers and bought the books, but supplied no busses.

If you were lucky enough, as Gaylordsville people were, to live where there was public transportation, you could ride on the train. The train came through at six o'clock. You bought your own ticket and some walked a mile to get to the station.

Many students walked to school. Some rode horses or bicycles and some boarded in the village. You couldn't get a driver's license at that time until you were eighteen, so few could use a car.

There was a Classical Course for those going to college and a General Course for those who did not expect to go further. Everybody took English, Math, and History, and there were choices of several things, such as Agriculture, Home Economics, Typing, Bookkeeping and Music.

Discipline was simple. If you didn't want to be punished, you behaved. If you didn't, you were punished. Mr. John Pettibone was strict but always fair.

The only weapon I remember being brought to school was a pair of brass knuckles brought by a boy who used them on someone. He was taken to the office and paddled and told by Mr. Pettibone that if he wanted to fight, he (Mr. Pettibone) would fight with him. No more weapons.

The only sports were baseball and basketball for boys, and basketball for girls. There wasn’t room enough at school for a baseball field so the team played at Young's Field where the town team had a diamond which they let the school use.

The school auditorium was not big enough for basketball, so games were played in the upper story of the Town Hall in the space later used as a courtroom. Other school activities such as a Senior Play, Junior Prom, and graduation were also held there.

Life was simple then. We did not feel underprivileged. We had no dress code but everybody was neat. Nobody got to high school that couldn't read and add and no one graduated without an education. It was easier because we were a small class. My class of 1929 had 46 members.

Ó 1999 Alan Dodd