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Hookerville, or South Cabot School

Cabot, Vermont

Photo Credit: Bonnie S. Dannenberg

District # 12 - Hookerville, or South Cabot School -

Like so many other Cabot school districts, the Hookerville district had an "old" school and a "new" school. The first was built by the crossroad leading from Danville Hill to Route 2, on the west side of the road. The second, or "new" school, was built closer to the concentration of houses, a few hundred yards south and east of the first location. Grace BEAN taught there in 1904. Other teachers were Esther BOLLES, Grace HOLLISTER, and Doris LINSCOTT.

The fall of 1919 brought an outbreak of whooping cough in South Cabot. In February of 1920, South Cabot School was closed by Health Officer L.C. LANCE because of a flu outbreak. Under quarantine were the HOUGHTON, FOSTER, PUTNAM, and O'BRIEN families.

"All my children went to Hookerville school. Morris and Stanley and Eldon. . .One year there were 31 students. . .The old school [near where Perley LAPOINT lived] wasn't large enough. . . .Jim CASTERDOWN used to live down here. . .and he went over and helped. . .the neighbors helped around and got together and fixed the schoolhouse. Didn't charge the town anything, just put their time in and helped." -- Lettie PERKINS

Daisy ISHAM taught at South Cabot in 1929. She had 19 students that year. Ralph ENNIS was janitor.

Budd BRUCE built the new school building at South Cabot in 1930. It had a library and a stage, and was considered by the U.S. Department of Education, in a survey of 144 towns and cities throughout the nation, to be "exemplary."

Hot lunches were prepared at South Cabot and delivered to the students at East Cabot. According to the town report in 1943, both schools had "complete noon-day meals" each day. In the mid-1940's, most schools had begun to burn coal and "the kitchen range at South Cabot was equipped with an oil burner."

"I started school in the new building. It was brand new. It was a nice big building. It was a one-room school house and we had fourteen or fifteen kids. Some years later East Cabot kids came down here to finish school when they give up that school. Of course, it was used other than for school activities. . .We had Sunday School there and community things. . .It was nice growing up there, course I lived right down at the corner there. I had about five different teachers in the eight grades that I was in. . .I didn't go to high school -- I couldn't quite break away and go over the hill to Cabot. . .No one else went to high school, either, except [my brother] Ray in Marshfield, one term I guess. So I didn't have any incentive, and it was scary. I think when the nephews and neices started going over there, they had a kind of rough time -- rough row to hoe to get acquainted with the other side of the hill. The East Cabot kids went, but we didn't. We were kind of isolated." -- June ENNIS SARGEANT

In 1933, twenty-five students were enrolled at South Cabot school. Charlotte LAKIN was their teacher. Ira BARNETT, Everett BASHAW, Venna and Francis CLARK, Charles, Fernande, and Raymond CANOYER, Eva and Julia DUNBAR, Fannie, Fred, Hattie, Helen, and June ENNIS, Eltia HOUGHTON, Evelyn JOHNSON, Ralph MERRYFIELD, Lyle MOODY, Bernice and Eldon PERKINS, Warren READ, Lavina STOCKER, Mabel and Lawrence WHITCHER, and Charles ST. JOHN were all students at that time.

After they built the new schoolhouse, the old one was used as a dancehall for a number of years. The town owned and maintained the building. . .The building was sold in 1959 for $260.

"I drove the first school bus [after East Cabot School closed.] Warren STEVENS bought a car and he used to pick up Mrs. HOUGHTON, the school teacher, she lived up where Al MAY lives -- so he'd pick her up and come down and there was probably three or four kids he took to school. And we paid him so much a day to ride. Well, he kind of got to goofing off and had an accident or something and lost his car and didn't have money enough to get another one, so I was fifteen, so I got elected to carry the kids. So I used to drive on his license -- he was only sixteen, which wasn't even legal probably -- so I used to pick up the teacher and the school kids and take them to Hookerville. And then Warren and I'd go on to high school. So that was the beginning, and then we had a little truck that we put a box in the front and the kids used to ride in the back. It was just a ton truck, you know, rack body, only we covered it over with plywood and canvas. [It was kind of cold] but nobody thought nothing of it. So I used to carry them down there." --Walter GOODRICH

In 1954 Town Warning: "Does the town want to close South Cabot School?"

"I was on the [school] board when we closed Hookerville and sent them all to Cabot. Oh boy, I got a tongue lashing for that, don't you think I didn't. But it got down to where there was only a handful of kids. . .There was only about eight kids going to school, and they were screaming at the school board for taxes coming up a nickel on the school tax, so what are you going to do?" -- Russ THERRIAN

It was closed in 1954, and in 1958 the building was sold for $1,300. Helen Ennis KEENE lived there until she passed away recently. The building is now a rental property, under renovation, owned by Tim KEENE.

Quotes - Source "Cabot, Vermont A Collection of Memories From The Century Past" A Publication of the Cabot Oral History Committee - 1999 Excerpts from pp - 153 & 154, .

Book available $20.00. Order from President Dannenberg of the Cabot Historical Society.

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Copyright 2001 Bonnie Stevens Dannenberg All Rights Reserved