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Fairfield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic

 
 
Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 2, 2022
1. Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic Marker
Inscription.  
Connecticut's founding Puritans valued education. As early as 1650, towns with 50 or more families were required to teach children to read and write. The goal of education was to teach children how to read so they could gain a moral and spiritual foundation from the Bible.

Fairfield operated several schools by the late 1700s. In 1804 some citizens feared these schools were not doing enough to prepare boys for college. To address this, 43 residents, including Eunice Dennie Burr, contributed $5.00 (about $100 today) a share to found Fairfield Academy, a private institution.

Mrs. Burr was instrumental in ensuring that girls be educated there as well. At the time, girls were traditionally instructed at home and no colleges were open to women yet.

In 1804 Fairfield Academy opened its doors with 60 students. It cost $4.50 for each 12-week session. The schoolmaster taught subjects from Greek and algebra to geography and oratory and students wrote in ink with quill pens.

Strict rules were in place to ensure good behavior. One student recalled "shaking, thumping the head and pulling the ears and hair" were common
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penalties for poor conduct.

The Fairfield Academy closed its doors after 80 years when the town expanded its tuition-free schools.

( photo captions )
—   left: Fairfield Academy, shown here in the 1870s, originally stood on Old Post Road between Burr Mansion and St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution helped to save it from demolition in 1920; the town bought the building in 1924. Many students enjoy visiting the replica schoolroom inside.
—   right: George Merwin's report card from about 1875.
 
Erected by Fairfield Museum and History Center.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1650.
 
Location. 41° 8.527′ N, 73° 14.996′ W. Marker is in Fairfield, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old Post Road and Beach Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairfield CT 06824, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sun Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Sun Tavern: Did George Washington Sleep Here? (within shouting distance of this marker); Remarkable Trees (within shouting distance of this marker);
Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 2, 2022
2. Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic Marker
In front of the Old Fairfield Academy, built 1804
Ronald Reagan Visit (within shouting distance of this marker); Fairfield Vietnam War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Is Fairfield the Seat of Fairfield County? (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward’s Pond (within shouting distance of this marker); Fairfield (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfield.
 
Also see . . .  Fairfield Museum & History Center. (Submitted on August 8, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 138 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 8, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Apr. 18, 2024