VIS 100
Jaffrey Center Village Improvement Society

Melville Academy Timeline

1775 Meetinghouse built.

Five schoolhouses were built in Jaffrey. The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1822 on Old Dublin Road, but moved to Jaffrey Center site (where there had been a school, district #7) in the 1960s.

1801 Amos Fortune died and was buried in Old Burying Ground.
1822 Bell Tower and spire added to Meetinghouse.
1831 Red Brick Church (First Church in Jaffrey) built.

Melville opened its doors as a private, co-educational high school.

At this time Andrew Jackson was President. Jaffrey was growing and settlement was moving down the turnpike toward the river as mills and factories were built. Hannah Davis was selling her bandboxes.

Most houses you see from Melville were there before the Academy. However, there were few trees and the views were better, since the land had been cleared for farming and grazing.

1845 Cutler Memorial built as a church in East Jaffrey (today’s downtown).
1857 Melville closed, due to dwindling enrollment and financial problems.

Town reopened Melville as the District No. 7 schoolhouse.


Conant High School was founded through with a substantial endowment from John Conant who stated that classes should alternate between Jaffrey Center and East Jaffrey (held in a building replaced in the 1930s by the current elementary school). High school students met in Melville the first year while the Meetinghouse was being renovated (second floor) to accommodate classrooms.  This arrangement didn’t work well – students from East Jaffrey tended to skip school the year it was in Jaffrey Center and vice versa. By 1897 the high school stayed in East Jaffrey.


Melville abandoned as a school building when there were not enough children in Jaffrey Center to warrant a separate school. Eventually all elementary schools were consolidated in one building.


Village Improvement Society repaired building and made it a local history museum.

Museum Page | Frequently Asked Questions About Melville Academy