Greetings from a very cold Easton! This morning, the temps were in the 20’s when I headed out to begin my day. Were there an Easter sunrise service this year we would all be bundled up and sipping hot coffee!
On occasion I receive telephone calIs or emails from people who confuse us with other Easton’s around the United States. Last week I received an email from another Easton! Andrew Glovas, Director of Operations, Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society in Easton, PA., sent me a note regarding a donation they received from someone in Pennsylvania that detailed the building of a school house. He was sure that this document belonged to Easton, Massachusetts, and following a brief email exchange for further information, arranged to have it sent to us. When I received the materials I was very excited to see two handwritten construction contracts for building schools in Easton. Even more important, these schools were built prior to the Civil War, a period that we do not have many documents from. Today I have attached a scan of a contract to build a school house in District Number 9, which is the former school building at Easton Center (not to be confused with the current Center School Elementary School still in use). The old school still stands at 350 Depot Street. You know it now as The History Room, and it was for many years The Music Machine with Anne DiSanto. This contract lists the terms and conditions and basic information about the school building, as well as the signees. If you look up this address on Google Maps you can easily see the old school house. At one time the school received an addition, so the building you see today is about twice the size as the original building. A transcript of the document is given here. You can check out our sister museum in Pennsylvania by visiting their website at Sigalmuseum.org. We extend our sincere thanks to Andrew Glovas and the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society for making sure these precious documents made it safely home.
Between Hathaway Leonard of Norton of the first part, and Charles H. Reed, Daniel A. Clark, & Henry Dailey all of Easton (of the second part) a committee authorized by School District No. 9 of Easton to contract with said Leonard of the first part, to build a School house for School District No. 9 in said Easton twenty-seven by thirty-eight feet on the ground otherwise in accordance with the plans and specifications bearing even date with this contract.
The said Hathaway Leonard of the first part agrees for the sum of seven hundred thirty-nine dollars to build a School house in District No. 9 in Easton Bristol County State of Massachusetts, 27 ft. by 38 ft. the dimensions in other respects to be according to the plans and specifications bearing even date with this Contract.
The said School house to be finished and ready to be occupied on or before the first day of August eighteen hundred fifty-nine.
Dated at Easton this thirty first day of January 1859.
Signed sealed and delivered in ) Ch. H. Reed
Presence of ) Daniel A. Clark
Minot E. Phillips ) Henry Dailey
) Hathaway Leonard