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Know all men by these Presents, that We Dennis Stebbins and Joseph
Stebbins Junior both of Deerfield in the County of Franklin, for
and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and ninety
dollars, to be paid to us by the Town street school District
in Deerfield aforesaid, four hundred and ninety five dollars on
or before the first day of July next, and four hundred and nine
ty five dollars when we shall complete the following school
house viz said school-house to be built of nine-inch brick, and to be
forty two feet long from outside to outside, and twenty feet within
the walls in width. the first story to be eight feet high from the
underpining and the walls thereof to be one brick and one half
brick thick, and seperated by a brick wall of one brick thick,
said walls to be underpined with a stone wall two and one half
feet thick, and three and one half feet deep, ten inches of the outward
walls to be of hewn stone, to contain eight windows of twenty
four lights each of seven by nine glass,
the window frames to be made of yellow pine timber one end one
half inch thick, two outside and two inside doors, and two entryways
from the chimney to the side wall, two chimneys in the end walls
sufficiently underpined, with a fire place in each suitable
to the rooms. The floors to be of yellow pine. Each room to con-
tain one tier of fixed seats and tables, to be raised six inches from the
floor, one tier of seats affixed to the front of the last mentioned tables,
with a table in front of the seats and a seat in front of the last tier
of tables, said tables and seats to be made of yellow pine or oak
timber, the tables to be open next their seats convenient for receiv
ing books &c. A moveable desk or table in each room for the instructers.
The walls in each room to be boarded up two feet above the rear
seats. The whole to be plaistered. The second story of said school-
house to be ten feet high, the side walls to be one brick and one
half brick thick & the end walls one brick thick, to contain two
fire places suitable to the room, and eight windows of twenty
four lights each of seven by nine glass, window frames the same as
in the lower rooms, and a tier of boxed up seats fixed to the outside of the
room, and four moveable seats sixteen feet long. Said room to be arched
and plaistered. the floor to be yellow pine. The stairway leading to said
second story seperated by a partition from the lower and upper room

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Contracts for buildings most often do not survive. This contract of January 7, 1813 describes fully the brick schoolhouse that Dennis Stebbins and his brother Joseph, Jr. intended to build on the Town common. It is very specific as to size, material, and furnishings. It mentions fireplaces, plaster walls, and the position of the staircase. The school was used for educational purposes and, in addition, for lyceums, lectures, and, after 1824, for town meetings. It served the town until 1841 when it burned. The woodcut by John Warner Barber of the Deerfield Common, 1839, shows the brick school building at the left, south of the 1824 meeting house.


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Building Contract for Deerfield Street School

creator   Joseph Stebbins, Jr. (1749-1816)
creator   Dennis Stebbins (1778-1842)
date   Jan 7, 1813
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   8.0"
height   13.5"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Contract
accession #   #L00.050

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See Also...

Deerfield Grammar School Class

"Regulations For the Government of the Schools in the Town of Deerfield"

"A Practical System of Modern Geography"

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