In the early days the schools were built and run by school districts. Each district was in charge of an agent and they divided the cost of running the schools. The teachers were "boarded around" at the home of the pupils, their pay being $13.00 a month for the school master who received only $6.00 a month. At one time there were 6 school districts, but this was changed to 4 when the Center School was built just south of the Town Hall in 1843. The school districts were discontinued in 1889 and the Center School was dismantled in 1930.
The South Schoolhouse located on the west side of Moll Poor Hill served the children at the south district from the 1860's to 1918 when it burned in the big fire that swept across the island and destroyed over 20 buildings.
Later than the picture you see below, a long platform was added across the front and a big bell was hung at the side. One of the children's pranks was to remove the clapper and tie on a donut to bother the teacher when the bell didn't ring.
(Click on picture to enlarge)