Friday, June 29, 2012

Haven School

The Haven School building is at 50 South School Street, on the south side just east of where South Street and South School Street meet.

The first building in Portsmouth constructed specifically for educational purposes was a one-story wooden schoolhouse very near this location. Built between 1709 and 1713, the school served until 1846, the year when the Haven School opened for classes.

The new facility was designed to accommodate four grades: infant, primary, intermediate, and grammar. At the time, townspeople protested the excessive amount of money spent for its construction. The Haven School was the first school in Portsmouth with more than two rooms, and many residents felt  the South End would never require that much class space.
They were wrong.

The first kindergarten in Portsmouth opened at the Haven School during the 1895 school year, and before the turn of the 19th Century, the school was filled to capacity.

Kindergarten and First Grade classes were temporarily moved to the South Meeting House.

C.S. Gurney published the photograph below in 1902. 

Little Harbor School on Clough Drive in Portsmouth replaced the Haven School in 1969, and in 1978 the old schoolhouse was converted to condominiums.

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