Team Of 44 Oxen Moves Historic Vermont Schoolhouse

Aug 9, 2016

A nearly 200-year-old schoolhouse has been moved back to its original site in the Orleans County town of Brownington. The historical move on Monday was powered by a team of oxen — in honor of the many buildings in New England that were moved by the sturdy animals.

Thousands of Vermonters cheered as 44 oxen pulled the two-story Orleans County Grammar schoolhouse up a hill nearly half a mile.

The oxen teamsters included 4-H club members — young people ages 5 to 18 years old who helped train and care for the animals.

Peggy Day Gibson is the director of the Old Stone House Museum.

She says having the oxen there to pull the school is part of preserving history.

“This is an agricultural area, we love these animals, they're beautiful," she says. "[It's] the whole tradition of kids raising oxen, training them, learning that responsibility and the confidence and competence that inspires.”

The schoolhouse will be refurbished and made open to the public as part of the Old Stone House Museum.   

4-H Club members who helped train and care for the animals showed off their skills by leading their oxen in this pull.
Credit Rebecca Sananes / VPR