Hawley's History
     
In the early twentieth century, the old academy building served as a high school for Newtown.  In 1920 the old academy building, mysteriously caught fire and was burned to uselessness.

In the aftermath, Arthur T. Nettleton, president of Newtown Savings Bank and financial advisor to Mary E. Hawley, convinced her to donate a new High School building to the town.  This became the first of several benefactions to the town from that exceedingly generous woman.

The school, which was to be named for her parents, was completed in 1921 and was considered to be one of the most advanced school buildings in the state at that time.  In addition to having central heating, it was completely fireproof and contained a state of the art chemistry lab and full auditorium for community meetings.

The building continued to be used as a High School until 1953 when a new High School was constructed on Queen Street.  The Hawley School subsequently became a K-8th grade elementary school and after the conversion of the Queen Street building into a Middle School in 1974, it became a K-5th grade elementary school.

The building is situated on a level 1.2 acre plot that adjoins Taylor Field which it uses for playground facilities.   Taylor Field was the former Newtown Fairgrounds and it was donated to the town by Cornelius B. Taylor in the 1920's.  The remains of the old fair race track can still be seen in the woods to the north of this field.

Daniel Cruson
Town Historian 
     


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