Skip navigation
Archaeologists search for relics from America's first school City of Boston

Archaeologists search for relics from America's first school

Crews are digging in front of Boston's Old City Hall, which is the original site of the Boston Free School, built in 1645.

Whatever happened to the first public school in America?

Archaeologists in Boston are digging for evidence.

The City of Boston has begun an archaeological survey in front of Old City Hall in an effort to re-locate the foundations and yards of the original Boston Latin School, built in 1645.

"It is an exciting moment for the City of Boston to potentially unveil an important part of Boston’s history,” Mayor Walsh says in a news release.

City of Boston Archaeologist Joseph Bagley will supervise volunteer crews, who will excavate about 10 test trenches throughout June.

They hope to find the foundations of the Boston Latin schoolmaster’s house and the yard behind it. If successful, it is likely that they will recover significant amounts of artifacts relating to the seven schoolmasters and families who lived in the building between 1645 and 1809.

Researchers have determined that the Boston Free School was built in 1645 and later renamed the Boston Latin School. Although it no longer is in its original location, Boston Latin is the oldest public school in America. The schoolhouse was in an area that is now partially under King’s Chapel and within the courtyard of Old City Hall.



Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.