Sand Pond was a small neighborhood school. Its 20-25 students did not arrive in big, yellow, buses, nor did they have a school cafeteria.


Students made their way to school on foot, and brought their own lunches. During winter, one or more of the older students would bring in firewood for the wood stove. Another would ring the bell, officially beginning the school day, after which the teacher would greet the students, who would stand to recite the Lord’s Prayer and salute the American flag.


The teacher would then hand out assignments to the older children and begin working with the younger students. 

Fun Facts

  • Cost of constructing Sandy Pond School in 1869: $1,028.57
  • Cost of 298 feet of boards to repair building in November 1908: $6.54
  • Annual operating expense for "care of (all Ayer) school-rooms" in 1884: $101.40

A Sandy Pond School Day

Sandy Pond School Association A 501(c)3 organization

That Sandy Pond School is still with us today, 150 years after it was built and some 120 years since the last classes were dismissed is a small miracle.  ​​Had history followed its normal course, Sandy Pond School would have been torn down within a few years after its closure in 1906. Across north central Massachusetts, only a handful of other single room school buildings still stand, and even fewer that are equally well preserved while retaining their original appearance. Here in Ayer, Sandy Pond School stands alone, a sole survivor of the single room school era. 

  • (2020-2021)  A restored Sandy Pond School reopens to the public.
  • Fall 2019 Sandy Pond School celebrates its 150th birthday
  • 2018-2019 Phase I of Sandy Pond School Restoration & Preservation Project funded by grant from Ayer Community Preservation Committee (CPC).
  • May 2017 Sandy Pond Schoolhouse listed on National Register of Historic Places. 
  • April 2017 Delivery of Conditions Assessment funded by CPC
  • 2014 Beginning of application process for listing on National Register of Historic Places
  • 1956-2013 Periodic open houses continue.
  • 1956 SPSA becomes 501(c)3 organization
  • Annual reunions continue into the 1940's.
  • 1914 Raised platform with piano constructed in former "girls cloakroom".
  • 1910 Third annual reunion attracts over 100 attendees
  • 1908 Town sells Sandy Pond Schoolhouse to newly formed SPSA for $1.00
  • 1906 Town closes Sandy Pond School following construction of new trolley line.
  • 1871 Ayer separates from Groton; Sandy Pond School becomes part of Ayer school system.
  • 1869 Present building constructed by Town of Groton as District #11 School

A Sandy Pond School Timeline