Sprague School, Old
554 Broad St
Greek Revival, Italianate
Public School, Single Family Dwelling House
Massachusetts Historical Commission Report
This is a c. 1847 Italianate schoolhouse which was recycled for use as a private residence during the 1890s. Possessing a long rectangular sidehall plan, its 3-bay street facing gable features an open porch with champfered posts and small, wedge-shaped brackets. Its edges are crisply defined by Doric, paneled cornerboards and fascia boards run beneath the side walls' eaves. This structure is enclosed by a gable roof with return eaves—a steeply pitched gable appears in the center of its south wall. In general windows are cornice headed and contain 2/1 wood sash.
#554 Broad St. has important historical associations with Bridgewater's mid-late 19th c. school system. Known as the Old Sprague School (Sprague Hill is across the street to the east) and District No. 3 school, it was in use by 1847. At that time it was located at the northeast corner of High and Broad Streets. Overcrowded conditions in the schoolhouse were deplored in the school report of 1851— at that time 60 children were enrolled here. It was enlarged in 1852-1854. By 1865 161 children attended the school. It had the largest enrollment in town. Sold at auction in 1889, the old schoolhouse was used for storing hay by a Mr. Smith and its students were transferred to the Prospect School. The school was moved to its present location at some point in the 1890s by Edgar H. Sigelow, foreman in William McElwain's shoe manufacturing company on Perkins Ave. He is listed as its owner on the 1903 atlas.