The Bullet Hill School, formerly known as the Brick School, is the oldest public building in Southbury. Built in 1762 of locally made bricks, the two-story structure remained in operation as a school for 179 years until December 1941 when the new Southbury Consolidated School, now Gainfield Elementary School, opened in January 1942.
In the years after the school closed, the building served as a meeting place for the Episcopal Church Sunday School, the War Rationing Board, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the first Regional School Board Superintendent’s office. Dances and other events were also held there.
In 1986, plans were made to utilize the School as a living history museum for school children. Currently, the Bullet Hill School is a vibrant part of the history curriculum of the Pomperaug Regional School District #15 and each spring in April and May thousands of second grade school children relive a day in a typical 19th century classroom setting.
Located on Main Street North (Route 6), the Bullet Hill School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also one of the most significant buildings in the Main Street Historic District. The School is open for special occasions and school visits.
BULLET HILL SCHOOL DAYS LIVING HISTORY PROGRAM
The Bullet Hill School Days Living History program was established in an effort to utilize Southbury’s oldest public building as unique learning resource for school children. The program provides the opportunity for students to reenact a typical 1800s school day. The reenactment is the culminating event of a unit of study about community life and the educational experience of that time period. In preparation, all participating teachers guide their students to research and study about nineteenth century communities. This includes learning about all aspects of early American academic practices from appropriate subject matter to proper decorum.
Each visiting class is well prepared for their own special “Bullet Hill School Day” conducted by their own classroom teacher.
If you are interested in registering your class, learning more about this program, or assisting as a volunteer, please contact Bullet Hill School Director, Melinda Elliot.
Third grade students in a lesson at Bullet Hill School
Interior view of the Bullet Hill School