Root Schoolhouse Vision

To provide a unique venue for our community to use for educational, social and cultural occasions in a building that honors and reflects its special place in the history of Norwich, Vermont.

National Light Up America Event

On January 19, 2021, the Root Schoolhouse and other public buildings lit up in honor of all those who have died from COVID-19.

Update on the Root Schoolhouse Renovation Projects

After lifting the building and completing the Root Schoolhouse drainage and foundation project during 2019, we are continuing to raise funds and complete renovation projects. Some of this work is required by the state to comply with the occupancy permit.

Thanks to many donors, we recently completed necessary electric work, added a new back door, and started construction on an ADA compliant access ramp.

Thanks to one very generous donor, the historic windows have been restored and the building got a fresh coat of paint.

Several volunteers have been cleaning the building, maintaining the property, and installing insulation in the basement.

We are currently raising funds to complete projects, including the ADA access ramp, an accessible parking space, light fixtures, front porch railing, and a fire protection system.

We hope to complete some of the projects in fall 2020 and the rest in the spring of 2021. Once the projects are complete, we have an occupancy permit, and the COVID-19 situation improves, we will be able to enjoy the building on a seasonal basis.

Future enhancements such as additional driveway/parking improvements, restroom renovations, and heating will depend on continued support from donors.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please see our donation information.

Plans for the Future

Thanks to all who attended gatherings at the Norwich Historical Society in October 2018 and in October 2019 and the recent Pie Sale at the Schoolhouse to hear about the progress we have made and to envision plans for the future. There have been lots of great ideas generated by our supporters. See some of those ideas in the picture below.

We invite you to help bring the Schoolhouse back to life by supporting it with your time, talent, ideas, and energy. If you would like to join us, please send an email to: vtrootschoolhouse@gmail.com.

History of the Root Schoolhouse

The Root Schoolhouse in Norwich, Vermont is a one-room schoolhouse built in 1937 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. The building was used as a school until 1945, then as a community center from 1952 to 2011, when it was closed for all public use due to its deteriorating foundation. The Root District Game Club, caretakers and owners of the building since 1952 and a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is working to save the Schoolhouse and return it to public use.


3 thoughts on “Home

  1. I believe my great aunt, Eunice Goldie Fifield Gilman, was a teacher at the Root School. She boarded in Norwich in 1930, married my great uncle, Lee Gilman in 1935. They lived all there married life on the Gilman farm on the Turnpike Road in Norwich.
    I have in my possession a postcard that was with my grandmother, Ruth Gilman White’s, small collection of items that was passed on to me. The picture is of a teacher with 11 children in front of the schoolhouse.
    My thought is two-fold. Can you confirm that she was a teacher there and if you don’t already have a copy of this particular postcard I would like to donate it so we need to know who to contact. Polly Lee O’Neill Dickinson (my mother was Ruth Gilman’s daughter) home phone # is 603-632-4171


    • Hi Polly,
      I’m afraid you have waited far too long for a response to you message! I just met a neighbor who used to visit Eunice and Lee Gilman. Her name is Joyce Knights. She is 90 years old. She lives on Union Village Rd just uphill from the Root Schoolhouse. She must have visited them after the schoolhouse closed in 1945. She and her husband Calvin were part of the Root District Game Club which started in 1952. That seems like the right timing.

      She said that, yes, Eunice taught at the Root Schoolhouse. I think I will forward these emails (if I can figure out how to do that) to Joyce in case she would like to respond as well.

      I built my house on your parents’ property in 1985. My friends Nancy Cressman and Alan Berolzheimer are my neighbors and they live in the “old Gilman House”. I heard wonderful things about your mother when I first moved here.
      They say she had wonderful flowers. I also have lots of flowers.

      We would love to have the postcard of the teacher with 11 children. As well as being head of the Root District Game Club board, I am also on the board of the Norwich Historical Society and we would add this postcard to the schoolhouse archives for safe keeping.

      We can also do more research at some point. Where do you live?

      Thank you for getting ahold of us. And once again, sorry for the delay. We have been busy raising money and getting the foundation replaced. There are pictures on our website of the schoolhouse with its new foundation.

      Let’s stay in touch.

      Courtney Dobyns


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