In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

North New Portland Village Schools

Text by Marilyn Gorman and Dianne Pease
With Images from New Portland Historical Society

The North Village in New Portland had a total of five different schools located there at some point. Three of these schools do not appear to have any documentation, only pictures.

The original Central High School was located in East New Portland, but was destroyed by fire. Despite the frustration of such a financial and community loss, the town quickly decided to build a new Central High school, in the North Village of New Portland. Graduating classes, depending on the year, tended to average between ten and twenty students during the very early 40s. World War two had a minimizing effect on New Portland's population, as the class sizes tended to go down after those years. As more time went by, the school was placed into a district, MSAD 74, which included nearby Anson academy. High school aged students began to attend Anson Academy, and later they attended Carrabec High School. The building which stood in North New Portland was converted into an elementary school.
Central Elementary school was blessed with very active community members who were proud of their town history. Students were often treated to specific lessons on local history, and many of their unique crafts and projects still survive today.
For many years, Central Elementary school housed New Portland students from grades K-8. When Maine district 74 constructed Carrabec Community School in North Anson, the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from the entire district began to attend school in the one building together. Central Elementary then housed up to grade 5. With continued declines in enrollment, Kindergarten was discontinued at the school in the 2006 school year, and the grades were combined first into grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5th grade. The next year the grades were divided into two classrooms of grades 2-3 and grades 4-5. School year of 2008-2009 looks to be the last year that Central elementary school will be open as an Elementary school.

North New Portland High School or the Green Schoolhouse was built between 1885 and 1887 and closed in 1966. This school is located on Church Street.
North New Portland High, primary school, grammar school and the Green Schoolhouse are all names used for the building. The land was purchased from Hiram and Betsey Pease for the sum of $125.00, April 28, 1885.
One source states that in September 1839, Reverend E.S. Hopkins opened a high school at the North Village. Another source states that in 1887, a course of study way started at the North Village and John S. Williams was hired as principal. In the spring of 1890 the first class graduated from North New Portland High School. When the grade school burned in the town fire, the spring of 1919, all of the students went to the Green School. The green school remained a grammar school until it ceased February, 1966. Sometime in the 1970s it became the Fernwood Grange Hall.
A town meeting was held on September 19, 1972 at which time the town authorized the selectmen to negotiate with Fernwood Grange for the exchange of buildings. In November of 1997, Fernwood Grange moved to the Old Baptist Church in the East Village which was owned by the New Portland Historical Society.
Soon after this the Rural Living Center was formed by the Presbyterian Church which housed the New Portland Community Library and a daycare center. When the new library was built the New Portland Historical Society was given use of the area that housed the library.
The building is used in the summer by church work groups that come to the area to assist needy people. This building has been well used throughout the years, and hopefully it will stand for many years to come.
Many teachers, students and towns people have climbed the well worn stairs to attain an education. The Green Schoolhouse is now privately owned.