Did You Know (Annisquam Exchange and Leonard School)

photo collage of Annisquam Exchange / Leonard School and Annisquam Historical Society
Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That The Annisquam Exchange has served the community for over 66 years by donating its profits for the maintenance of the historic buildings of the village: Village Hall, Village Church, Leonard School, Library and Firehouse?  The Exchange also supports the Good Neighbors Program and the village’s Mt. Adnah Cemetery. The Exchange is a wonderful consignment shop that sells jewelry, both costume and designer, antiques and collectibles, small furniture pieces, lamps, linens, china, clocks, cards, prints and paintings.  On the second floor above the Exchange is the Art Gallery.  In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are two group exhibitions by local artists in the main gallery. The small gallery hosts two special exhibits of local artists. The Gallery and Exchange are Open May 1st through October 16th.  Annisquam is one of the oldest and best-preserved villages in Gloucester.  The Annisquam Exchange was established to insure that the history, architecture, art and community of Annisquam be preserved for future generations. The Exchange began in the old Firehouse, which is now the Historical Society Museum for the preservation of Annisquam’s 380 year-old history.  You can learn more about The Exchange by visiting their website at http://annisquamexchange.com/AnnisquamExchange/Annisquam_Exchange.html

The Exchange moved to its present location in the historic Leonard School in the mid 1940’s.  My neighbor, Sarah Hackett, attended the first through fourth grades at the Leonard School in the early 1930’s.  These four grades were taught in the single room on the ground floor, and her class consisted of 8 students.  Her mother was also a teacher at the school when she was a young woman.  Once she married though, she was required to quit teaching, as married women were not allowed to teach in those days.  The wire mesh on the windows was installed to keep them from being broken by fly balls of children playing on the green during recess.  There is similar mesh on the inside of the windows for the same purpose, when weather was inclement and the children stayed inside to play.  The school, as well as Leonard Street, was named after Father Ezra Leonard (remember him from the Annisquam Village Church post?). 

The school was built in 1834 – the land and building cost $840.  In 1836, William Young was paid a salary of $16 for teaching at the school; Samuel Young was paid $87.75 for teaching and supplying wood to heat the school.  (From Gloucester Record of School Buildings and Selectmen’s Records of Payments, researched and provided by Katherine Groves of Gloucester.)

The top photo is of the Annisquam Exchange/Leonard School.  The middle photo is of the mesh windows.  The 3rd photo is of the Exchange and the Historical Society (old firehouse) to the right of it.

E.J. Lefavour


5 thoughts on “Did You Know (Annisquam Exchange and Leonard School)

  1. Grew up in Squam from ’54-’75. Played may games of ball in the school yard in the 60’s. Many fond memories. How The Village has changed.


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