Eureka Schoolhouse stands as the oldest one-room schoolhouse in Vermont, and one of the few surviving 18th-century public buildings in the state. Reconstructed in its current location in 1968, Eureka Schoolhouse was built about 1790 to serve Springfield’s first village settlement. Tradition holds that this building was erected because of the efforts of four families to have a local school. It was constructed by William Bettergneau, an early inhabitant of Springfield supporting himself as a beaver trapper.
Today Eureka Schoolhouse is unpainted, but early records report that the building was originally painted a golden yellow with cobalt blue roof. The school was covered in pine boards scored to simulate “ashlar” or cut stone blocks. About 1837, the building was moved across the road from its original location just off old Military Road. The ashlar siding was covered with clapboards, the hip roof changed to a gable roof, and the windows replaced. The town proudly celebrated the renovated school’s centennial on October 30, 1885.
With a dwindling school-age population in the Eureka District of Springfield, the once-busy school closed in 1900. The building stood vacant and neglected until 1958 when its historic and architectural significance were recognized by a dedicated group of citizens led by Anna Hartness Beardsley. The structure was carefully documented and disassembled for erection in a new location to allow for greater availability for visitors. Architect Andrew Titcomb oversaw the restoration effort, which utilized much of the original fabric to return the building to its original appearance. The careful reconstruction was completed in 1968 by the Eureka Schoolhouse Restoration Committee and the Vermont Historic Sites Commission (now the Division for Historic Preservation). The building was dedicated to the memory of Anna Beardsley, who died shortly before the completion of the project.
Baltimore Covered Bridge
The Baltimore Covered Bridge is one of about 100 covered bridges remaining in Vermont. It was constructed by Granville Leland and Dennis Allen in 1870. The 37-foot bridge was one of two bridges that crossed Great Brook in North Springfield on the road leading to the small town of Baltimore, Vermont. Marked by its arched portals, the Baltimore Covered Bridge is a form of Town lattice truss bridge, a design patented in 1820 by Ithiel Town. The innovative design has a support system based on an uninterrupted series of crisscrossed diagonals that connect the horizontal top and bottom chords to form a series of overlapping triangles. Town’s approach distributes the load equally by fastening each triangle at its points of intersection and eliminates vertical timbers.
The Baltimore Covered Bridge was closed in 1967 because the carrying timbers were badly twisted. Former U.S. Senator Ralph E. Flanders, active in the restoration efforts of the Eureka Schoolhouse, headed the committee to restore the bridge. Under the watchful direction of Milton S. Graton, a covered-bridge builder, the Baltimore Covered Bridge was moved from North Springfield to its present location in 1970. The restored Baltimore Covered Bridge was rededicated in the memory of Senator Flanders and Milton Graton.