As students prepare to go back to school next week, it’s time for a brief history lesson on the public high schools in Fairfield. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 1914 that local students could attend high school classes in town. The Town of Fairfield passed a resolution in 1885 to establish a school for higher learning, but for nearly three more decades, the town continued to place its high school students in either Bridgeport or Westport high schools.

In 1914, Fairfield teenagers began to attend high school classes at Sherman Elementary School, a new brick school building that was erected on Sherman Green replacing the old wooden Sherman School. (Originally known as the Center School, it had been on the Green since 1870. Center School was renamed in 1905 for Roger Minot Sherman, a judge and prominent citizen of Fairfield in the early 1800s.) The brick Sherman school was torn down in 1965, and a new school by the same name was built on Fern Street, where it still exists today.

Fairfield did not get its first legitimate high school until 1917, when Annie B. Jennings donated a house and property on Unquowa Road, the site where Tomlinson Middle School now stands. Students attended classes in the estate's house until 1924, when the first Roger Ludlowe High School was built on the site. The photo above shows the school in the 1930s.

Roger Ludlowe High School moved to its 785 Unquowa Road location in 1963. A few years earlier, Andrew Warde High School was founded in 1956. Due to lower enrollment, the two high schools were consolidated as Fairfield High School High School in 1987. Then, in 2004, with an increase in the number of students in town, local residents voted to return to two public high schools again. The schools are now known as Fairfield Ludlowe High School and Fairfield Warde High School.

Learn more about the history and culture of Fairfield, view rotating exhibitions and purchase Fairfield-themed gifts at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road. (203) 259-1598; Fairfieldhistory.org. The Museum and Museum Shop are open daily, 10am to 4pm.