Craftsbury Standard School & Playground

Historic schoolhouses are commonly found throughout Vermont, some converted to residences, some as museums, some abandoned, some creative rehabilitations, and some remain in educational use. In the 1930s schools faced state regulation, and had to comply with standards in order to become a Vermont “Standard School.” These regulations were for the quality of education. Schools were also required to have a certain amount of light (which is why you see the bank of windows on schoolhouses). When schools met these standards they displayed a plaque (see image below).

Very few have historic playgrounds in the school yard, most likely because of change in use and change in playground regulations. What an exciting find to see this playground at a school in Craftsbury, Vermont.

Historic schoolhouse in Craftsbury, VT.

Historic schoolhouse in Craftsbury, VT.

With a small playground on the property.

With a small playground on the property.

A Standard School.

A Standard School.

The playground has three apparatuses: jungle gym, swings, and a merry-go-round.

The playground has three apparatuses: jungle gym, swings, and a merry-go-round.

The jungle gym seemed so small; it must be for younger kids!

The jungle gym seemed so small; it must be for younger kids!

Swings.

Swings, with a great view over Craftsbury. The metal poles are stamped with presumably the name of the school (too faded to read clearly) and “Craftsbury Vermont.”

It's a bit low to the ground, but it's still completely functional.

It’s a bit low to the ground, but it’s still completely functional.

A bicycle rack!

A bicycle rack!

The date of this playground equipment is likely the 1920s/1930s. I’ve yet to find a giant stride; have you?

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12 thoughts on “Craftsbury Standard School & Playground

  1. My elementary school had a jungle gym when I was really young, I LOVED it! They took it down though, probably tired of kids climbing to the top and jumping into the mulch piles (their fault for placing the mulch piles under the jungle gym!). I still miss it. Haven’t seen one in a long time!

    • My elementary school had one too. I wonder if it’s still there. Hmm… We used to have a “spider web” (the jungle gym dome sort of thing) but that was taken down a long time ago.

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  3. I can imagine the sounds of children in the playground! This school is remarkably intact, what is it’s current use?

  4. I played on equipment exactly like that in the early ’60s, except that the swings had wooden seats. I’ll bet the flexible seats are a retrofit (a rather grand word for a playground swing!).

  5. This schoolhouse looks like half of the buildings in NH. While working at a historic site in NH, a lost tourist once asked me to direct her to “the meetinghouse”. I just stared blankly at her. There were probably 10 in a 15 mile radius alone. I tried to get her to narrow it down but she just kept saying “the meetinghouse” and “I think it’s white”. She did not understand why this did not help.

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