Grant to Give
Brick School A Facelift and Future
The Brick School House, built in 1827, remains the oldest
standing public brick building in Hancock County. According
to Herbert L. Silsby’s “The History of Aurora,” in which
this photo appears, the first teacher was Silsby’s own
grandfather, Herbert T. Silsby. “He was 6-4 and 250 pounds,”
Silsby said. “He was tough, and he could call a class to
You can’t go
too far in
before coming upon place names that reflect the town’s earliest
settlers. Silsby Hill and Silsby Plain honor Samuel Silsby Jr.
first homesteader. Samuel Silsby arrived in 1805 to work near
his brother, Goodell Silsby, who had set up a mill in
was also named after the family that settled in the early 1800s
near what was later named Giles Pond.
Drawn to the
area for its rolling hills covered in forest, Aurora’s first
settlers arrived before 1810. By 1827, when the town needed a
school, the Brick School House was built.
school house has the distinction as the oldest standing public
brick building in
It’s also getting fresh attention.
At the town’s
annual meeting last month, residents learned that one of the
selectmen, Bill Zissulis, is pursuing a grant for $77,000 that
would help restore the building. Getting the grant involves 20
percent matching money from the town, so voters approved putting
$15,400 toward the project, if the $77,000 grant comes through.
happen, Zissulis said, is that the building would be dismantled
and rebuilt. It would be turned into a public library while
retaining the original brickwork.
Work on the
building would not start before 2003.