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Frances Magan Jones and Evelyn Rose Bois examining the newly published, The Wonder of Charlie Anne. Their childhood experiences were incorporated into the young adult novel.

Historic Hornbine School

HOURS: The Hornbine School is open to the public from 2 to 4 PM on the second and fourth Sundays of June, July, August and September. There is no admission fee. You may have a chance to speak with local residents and other visitors including students who actually attended school there.

HISTORIC MAPS:  Rehoboth maps and other materials related to Hornbine School available.

Made on a Mac

Hornbine School gets some attention with help from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

Historic Hornbine School

Four former Hornbine School Students.

From left to right:  Admiring the shutters at Hornbine School are Beverly Pettine, Hornbine School Teacher (now retired); Carol Williams, Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee Chairperson; and John Taber, project contractor.

Archived Stories . . .

Open for Season with New Shutters

Like any old wooden building, the Hornbine School (built circa 1847) is always in need of repair. This past year, we had the window sills repaired and our window shutters replaced. We would like to thank the Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee and the Rehoboth Historical Commission. Through their efforts and support we now have brand new “working” shutters! We’ll have more about this wonderful addition to the museum next month.

    The Hornbine School Museum was neat and spiffy when it opened on April 24 for its 45th season when school children from Barrington, Rhode Island were the first to visit this year. We have many classes scheduled for visits from several towns, including Rehoboth, during the months of May and June. Our first public open house at the Hornbine School Museum will take place on Sunday, June 2 from 1-4 PM. This is the same day the Carpenter Museum is open with special events and displays. Mark your calendar and visit both “Rehoboth Treasures!”

    The Hornbine School will be open to the public in June on Sunday, June 2 and 23.  Later the school will be open to the public each 2nd and 4th Sunday from 2-4 during the months of July, August and September. 

Thanks to the Community Preservation Committee

     During the summer of 2011, not only did Hornbine School receive a much needed new coat of paint, but a considerable amount of restoration work was done to preserve the windows as well. The Rehoboth Historical Commission purchased supplies to paint the outside of the Hornbine School. The Bristol County Sheriff’s Department power washed and painted the school. That work was accomplished in August 2011.

     In September, thanks to a grant from the Community Preservation Committee, restoration craftsman John Taber from Marion repaired all the windows. Mr. Taber built several new window sashes and replaced numerous panes of glass. He glazed and painted all the windows. This attention to the windows was greatly needed.

     All of us at Hornbine School wish to express special thanks to Historic Commission member Cathy Potter. Thanks to Cathy’s tireless efforts, arrangements were completed and supplies were gathered; snacks were delivered and a generous dose of good cheer and support was given to all the Bristol County Sheriff Department workers.

     Since the schoolhouse was first restored in the 1960’s, it has taken the tireless effort and enthusiasm of small groups of Rehoboth residents to maintain this gem of a historic site.  Last summer Cathy Potter stepped in where many others have gone before.  We are very grateful.

Historic Hornbine School
Hornbine School in Winter

    Hornbine School was closed and shuttered for the winter.  It took a little more effort this year because the school was vandalized in mid-October.  Rocks from the stone wall that surround the property were thrown through several windows on the south side of the building.  One front window was damaged by a gun shot.

     With the help of two local businesses, the damage has been repaired.  Jim Pike of Silver City Glass in Taunton used his expertise to replace the shattered wood and glass in two sashes.  Ken Abrams of ABCO Glass on Rte. 44 in Rehoboth helped with the repair of two more windows. 

      His use of antique glass helped to preserve the integrity of the damaged pieces. Each business donated time and materials making sure the repairs were completed before winter weather set in.

     Hornbine School wishes to acknowledge the help it received.  Due to the efforts of two good neighbors, the school is secure again.

Remembrances of Attending Hornbine School

  Elementary school classes from several towns visit the historic Hornbine School to re-enact a 19th century school day where they were truly “kickin‘ it old school” even visiting the outdoor “sanitary.”  

  Third graders from Rehoboth’s Palmer River Elementary School visit every spring.  The class that spent their day on June 1, 2010 enjoyed an special visitor, Frances Magan Jones, a lifelong Rehoboth resident and grandmother of Jonathan Drown, a student in Mrs. DelPrete’s third grade class.

     When Frances was a girl, she was a student at Hornbine along with her brother Clarence.  Their father, Manuel S. Magan, Jr. and her uncles Henry and Arthur also attended Hornbine School.

     Every morning when Frances was a little girl, her mother would get up very early each morning and walk to the school a short distance from their house.  It was her responsibility to start the stove, sweep the floors, and fill the drinking water container.   After returning home, she would wake Frances and Clarence and cook breakfast for the family.

      Mrs. Jones shared many stories and photos of her own days at Hornbine School with the contemporary students who were dressed in period attire for the day.  She and her grandson often visit the school during open house hours on Sunday’s during the warm weather months.

Novelist Research on Historic Hornbine School

Rhode Island author Kimberly Newton Fusco’s newest young adult novel is set in a Massachusetts town during the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As part of her research, Kim visited the historic Hornbine School in Rehoboth since a portion of  “The Wonder of Charlie Anne” is set in a one-room schoolhouse.  She first visited on a raw, overcast day in the fall of 2008 to meet with Evelyn Rose Bois and Frances Magan Jones as they recalled their lessons and adventures at Hornbine School during the 1930s.

Kimberly returned in the spring of 2009 with her mother, Priscilla, and her daughter Laura to experience the recreation of a day at the one-room schoolhouse.  This historical school program is offered at the Hornbine School to area classes every spring and fall.

Much of what Kim saw and heard on both of her visits has been incorporated into her novel which is available in local book stores is already receiving outstanding reviews.

Don’t miss Charlie Anne and her friend Phoebe as they create a friendship that outlasts hardship, sadness and racial tension, reminding us all that courage and a heart that cares can overcome most anything.



(May 26, 2017)  If you are fascinated with history, you will enjoy visiting Rehoboth’s one-room schoolhouse, restored in 1968 for the town’s 325th anniversary.  The school will be open to the public on the second and fourth Sunday of June, July, August and September from 2 to 4 PM.  

   Rehoboth resident Frances Jones Megan, who attended the school when it was open as a public school, is almost always there to speak with visitors. She is a wealth of information about the school and the Hornbine neighborhood.                                 

    During the month of June, third graders from Palmer River Elementary School visit the school for a day, stepping back in time.  The school “marms” aka volunteers Brenda Saben and Jann McMurry have conducted 16 classes from other towns so far this year. They use a teacher’s desk first used at Palmer River School on Mason Street over one hundred and fifty years ago. Trivia: there have been three Palmer River Schools.

   Under the guidance of the Rehoboth Historical Commission for the past 49 years, many volunteers have contributed to the maintenance and operation of the building. For two decades until her retirement in 2015, Beverly Pettine kept the school running smoothly. Cathy Potter very capably took over in 2015 and the building continues to be open for field trips and public visits.  

    The Hornbine School is located in the south east corner of Rehoboth on Hornbine Road at the intersection of Baker Road.