On October 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. visitors to the bucolic town of Roxbury will have the chance to visit a rarely opened historic one -room schoolhouse. The schoolhouse is located on the Widmark Preserve at the corner of Tophet and Schoolhouse Roads in Roxbury.
One of eight schoolhouses that once dotted the Roxbury landscape, the Good Hill School House, or No. 4 as it was known on local tax assessor's records, was built in the 1800s with a fieldstone foundation and rustic wooden planks, likely by local farmers. It served students until the turn of the 20th century when all Roxbury students began attending Booth Free School, the town's current elementary school.
The Widmark Preserve was established in 1997 when the actor Richard Widmark donated 4 acres and the one-room schoolhouse in memory of his wife Jean. The Widmark Trust donated an additional 22.91 acres in 2004 to expand the preserve and help establish a greenbelt that now encompasses 720 acres of connected, permanently protected land. The greenbelt includes the 22-acre Styron Preserve, the 32-acre Matthau Preserve, the 55-acre Arthur Miller and Inge Morath Miller Preserve, the 467-acre Good Hill Preserve and the 100-acre Miller Preserve donated by Rebecca Miller in 2014.
About the Roxbury Land Trust
The Roxbury Land Trust has preserved a total of 3,630 acres of farmland, woodlands, wildlife habitats, watercourses, wetlands and open space in Roxbury and neighboring communities since it was established in 1970. Nationally accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, the non-profit organization, which is governed by a volunteer board of directors, is supported by membership dues and charitable contributions. The Land Trust does not receive annual operating support from the town, the state or the federal government. The Roxbury Land Trust maintains 32 preserves with 30 miles of hiking trails and three active farms, as well as offers a range of educational programs. For more information, visit www.roxburylandtrust.org or call 860-350-4148.