Brunswick Area Historical Society - 4613 Laurel Road, PO Box 714 - Brunswick, OH 44212 - email - email@example.com
The Community Foundation, its Schools
Brunswick is part of what was the Connecticut Land Company’s Western Reserve. In 1807 the lands of Brunswick Township’s 15,922 acres were divided by draft to six individuals and their heirs for a total of $22,087.00 at $1.64 per acre.
The first settlers came to Brunswick in the Spring of 1815. Early settlers included the names Deming, Hulet, Chapin, Stearns, Bogue, Tillotson, Lindley, Ward and Freese. The first homes were log cabins and the first Brunswick residents came predominantly from the New England area traveling the 500 or so miles by foot or wagon. After erecting their cabins, they cleared enough land to plant a garden. At times there were as many as 20 adults living and sleeping in one small cabin. After establishing their farmsteads and providing for their families, churches and schools were among the next priorities of the first settlers.
The first schoolhouse was built in 1817 just west of the center of town. Sarah Tillotson was the first teacher. Throughout the rest of the 19th century more primary schools were built throughout the township of Brunswick. There were eight districts in Brunswick, each with a one room schoolhouse. There was a teacher for each district school and teaching certificates were awarded following the passing of the teaching test which could be taken in Medina. Many times teachers had to travel many miles from their home and would board with a local family. Frank and Carrie Babcock, who lived in the center of town where FirstMerit Bank is now provided lodging for many of our local teachers. In the early days, only single women were allowed to teach.
Brunswick High School was built in 1891. It was also used as the Brunswick Town Hall. Community functions such as school plays, dances, lectures, musical programs, grange and town meetings were held here up until 1923. It was at this time that the auditorium was built in the new high school – the south house of what is today - Edwards Middle School. The old Town Hall was demolished in 1976 after a new city hall complex was built on Route 303 in 1974. The first graduating class of Brunswick High School was in 1899.
Early transportation to school was what the locals called “kid wagons”. They were horse drawn carts. During the Ohio winters, the cart driver’s wife would heat bricks in her oven and were provided to the schoolchildren riding the cart to rest their feet on to keep warm on their ride to school.