District No. 7 Stoner School
1850-1938 and 1953-1965
606 Vroman Rd.
The land for the first school in District 7 was donated by Joseph Vroman on October 12, 1850. A 20 foot by 28 foot building was then erected at a cost of $265 and named Stoner in honor of the first white settler in the area, John Stoner. The first teacher was Ellen Holt. This school building was used until 1927 when a new building measuring 32 foot square was erected at the same location at a cost of $7,000.
From 1939 through 1952 Stoner school was not used because of low attendance. However, the school was reopened in 1953 when the baby boomers became of age. The school finally closed for good in 1965 when District 7 was incorporated into the Verona Area School District and the students were transported to Verona schools. The school building was sold and converted into a home.
Being a school teacher in a one room school was a lot of work. Not only did they have to plan and teach a variety of subjects to children in 8 different grades (see photograph of ca 1954 class) but they were also responsible for the operation and cleaning of the school building and grounds. For most of the time these schools were in operation, heat was provided by a wood stove. The district paid for the wood but the teacher had to come in early and start the fire on cold days. When there were days that the teacher had a hard time starting the fire, the children had to wear their coats, hats and gloves and stand by the stove until it got warmer. Fortunately, as time passed the modern conveniences of electricity, indoor plumbing and fuel oil heat were added.
Another chore was the spring cleaning of the school and grounds. During the early spring a day was selected to do the cleaning. Students brought rakes and wheelbarrows to collect the leaves and then burn them while they roasted marshmallows. The girls especially enjoyed this day as it was the only day that they could wear pants.
Fifteen-minute morning and afternoon recesses were important parts of the school day that allowed students to run around and exercise after sitting still for an hour and a half. Here the mothers (dressed in their long dresses) had a hand in building a swing set for the school in 1918.
In 2001, the Fitchburg Historical Society in conjunction with the City of Fitchburg erected an historical marker at the site of the school.