Wachusett Dam and Reservoir
The Moving of Harrisville School #5
Report of the National Register of Historic Places:
Harrisville School (1858) Greek Revival/Queen Anne (Watermark)
Two-and-a-half stories in height, this building is rectangular in form with a four-bay gable front. It has two ground-floor entrances, originally intended as one for boys and one for girls.
The form and proportions of the building are consonant with the Greek Revival style of the mid-19th century.
Yet, certain ornamental features suggest the Queen Anne style of the late-19th century. Queen Anne period features include gable-roofed overdoors on brackets at
the two main entrances, wood shingling in the facade gable and in the gables of the overdoors, a strip of shingling across the width of the main facade between the first and second floors, strips of wide horizontal trim (which recall medieval half-timbering) that
separate the clapboard siding from the shingled areas, and a Palladian window in the facade gable.
Some alteration to the windows on the main facade took place when the building was used as a store during the early 20th century. Eyebrow windows in the northernmost and southernmost bays of the second floor were enlarged and a pair of windows at the center of the ground floor were made wider to function as display windows.
These changes have not greatly affected the overall character of the building
The Harrisville School or District #5 School (MAP #17; MHC #109), ca. 1858?, now situated at 18 North Main Street in Oakdale, was moved at the time of the construction of the Wachusett Reservoir from its original location on the north side of School Street (now inundated or near the water’s edge) in Harrisville. A school had existed in this district since
as early as the 1840s.
The school report for 1851 commented upon the small size and poor ventilation of the existing school. A new school was built in District #5 in 1852. The date of construction of the present building is unclear. Certain of its architectural features, such as its shingle trim and Palladian window, suggest a circa 1880s date. Yet its simple gable-front form would not be unlikely for a mid-19th century Greek Revival-inspired building.
Having been moved from its original site in Harrisville, the Harrisville School may be the only architectural remnant of the small mill village of Harrisville that still survives today.