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Old Goldens Bridge Takes 1912 Schoolhouse to Heart

As of now, no party will commemorate the Old Goldens Bridge two-room schoolhouse centenary . Oral histories of its students from the 1930s – several of whom live nearby – won’t be played. Its site isn’t slated for landmarking.

Jeff White, a member of the Old Goldens Bridge Neighborhood Association, is fine with that.

“It takes time to rebuild a sense of community,” White said in the dining room of his family’s Victorian home, a few yards from the school building. “It has to happen in stages.”

Stage 1 involves bringing people together around the schoolhouse, what White refers to as a “centering force” for a neighborhood in transition. “Some of the older residents went to school there,” he said, “as Maureen Koehl, the Lewisboro town historian, and I learned when we went around interviewing them.”

Newer families, he said, tend to have young children and are connected through the town’s Parks and Recreation Department , which is housed in the building along with yoga and other classes.

“There’s a basketball court in back that kids use, and a war memorial in front commemorating residents who lost their lives in World War I and II,” White said.

White, his wife, Teresa, and their two daughters are relative newbies. They bought their circa 1900 house in 2002, after living in Norwalk, CT, and overseas while White worked in corporate and project finance for National Australia Bank.

“We were looking for older homes and a neighborhood with character,” he said. “We found it in Old Goldens Bridge.”

Lewisboro actually protects the hamlet – which comprises about 25 late 19th- and early 20th-century houses mostly on Old Bedford Road and Park Avenue – as a Special Character area under its 1985 Master Plan . The neighborhood withstood powerful changes during the previous years. Homes were moved – sometimes on logs pulled by horses – to accommodate the flooding of the Muscoot reservoir in the early 1900s. The eastern half was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Interstate 684.

“Now we have this transition from older residents without kids to younger ones with kids,” White said. “The schoolhouse is a huge building and could host all kinds of groups, activities and meetings. It’s the kind of issue that could bring us all together.”

??What do you think abuot using the old schoolhouse in this way? Leave a comment below.

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