Open house on tap at Widmark Preserve
An open house at the historic one-room schoolhouse on the Widmark Preserve at the corner of Tophet and Schoolhouse Roads in Roxbury will be held Oct. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Apple cider will be served at the free open house.
“We encourage people to come out to discover local history,” said Ann Astarita, executive director of Roxbury Land Trust, which owns the schoolhouse and the 28 bucolic acres on which it sits. “Young and old will enjoy a glimpse into what school was like in another era.”
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 four 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 now 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 2015.