Weekly Update


Hi all! Boy is it nice to see sunshine, even though the temps are not nearly as comfortable as one would like. After four storms in a little less than three weeks time, I'll gladly take a chilly but sunny day.

Spring will soon bring about an age-old New England tradition: Town Meeting. A large part of preparing for that meeting is the time needed to work on budgets. While budgets are highly detailed today, and readily available, it was not so in early times. Some records were kept on scraps of paper, which over time deteriorate or are lost. As a result, we do not always have much detail on spending from our past. But once in a while we get excited about a find like the one below. Purchased online with a few other papers, was this little scrap of paper detailing how much money was allotted to Easton schools in 1851. There were 11 distinct school districts in Easton at that time, and they are all represented on the 1851 Bristol County map we have of the town. A quick look at monetary support for pupils by district will give you some idea of the money spent for each pupil, providing limited books, chalk, slate, and sundries. Not only is the dollar amount for each district represented here, but also the number of scholars for each district - if they all attended! Figures run from around $2.71 per student to just over $3.00 per student. District #1, which was the district with the most students, was located near Morse's Pond, South Easton Green, and parts of Washington Street going both north and south. The district also included some of the homes on Central Street, Water Street, Belmont Street, Pine Street, Depot Street, and Church Street. North Easton would be district #7, and #11 would be Furnace Village. Things have changed just a bit since then!

Wishing you all a good week ahead, and looking for signs of spring,

Frank

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