You never know where or when you will come across an awesome historic playground! The small town of Waterville, Vermont is such an example. The current library and town offices are housed in the former Waterville Central School, which is a classic 1930s two-room schoolhouse (a relatively common building type in Vermont). The school sits on a hill above the road, with its playground in front, basketball court and playing field behind the school.
This ramshackle playground remains on the property grounds, though it’s fallen into disrepair. A passerby mentioned that a couple used to take care of the playground, but he’s not sure what happened in recent years. Still, it’s a great look at a historic playground. I call this one historic because it has presumably original equipment and it is located in its historic setting.
How old is this playground? Many of the apparatuses appear homemade, which makes it more difficult to determine. However, based on the type of equipment it is plausible to say that playground dates to the early days of the school, ca. 1930s. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Maybe there was even a giant stride on the playground (sadly, no signs of one). But, what a great playground, right? Now it just needs some TLC.
9 thoughts on “Waterville, Vermont Playground”
My father built us a swing like those in the 1940’s, just before or just after after WWII. He added a bar for gymnastics on the side – where the see-saw is – about 1948, I regularly shinnied to the top of the poles and practiced flips on the bar. Good memories!
One way to date the playground would be the bolts, welds, and type of pipe. When would they have been easily available?
Good questions, Jane. That’s not my expertise, so I can’t answer that at this moment. I always loved doing flips on the bars, too. 🙂
The merry-go-round never had the center until late 80s, the long slide was originally on the side of the swings, until early 90s and then placed next to the small slide on the hill. The teeter-totters (sea-saws) were most likely handmade. My aunt and uncle own the house in the background of the slide pics, so we were there a lot as kids. The had put town offices there, but I’m not sure if it’s being used for that.
This one’s difficult! I know that a park in the area in which I grew up had a merry-go-round just like the one shown here, but I am fairly certain that the playground was not 1930s. That slide down the hill is just great! The swing sets remind of the ones at my grade school, and, if they were original (and I believe they were), that school was built in 1955.
Hmm, a good lead. I tend to think of 1950s playground equipment as more “themed” than the standard equipment, and more streamlined in construction, but then again – this is rural Vermont. You might be right!
My Grandparents were janitors for the school. My Grandmother Hersa Stockwell used to walk from her house to the school each day to begin the cleaning before my Grandfather Ellis Stockwell came from his other job to help. This shows such dedication for the school and town. They were proud Waterville residents.
This brings back memories. I went to elementary school here from 1986- 1992. 🙂 My best friend’s Dad built the slide on the hill.
Oh neat! Thanks for sharing. Sadly most of the playground has been removed. ;(