In 1872, the town of Wells River decided to build a new schoolhouse. The town curmudgeon, wary of spending too much money on the project, enacted a sneaky plan: he volunteered to lead the committee, then hired the architect who had just designed Vermont's capital building in Montpelier.
They planned an elaborate structure – decorative slate roofing, rock maple floors, double-course brick walls. It was the curmudgeon's plan that the design would be deemed too lavish, and the project scrapped. In the 1873 town meeting, the citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new schoolhouse.
The structure is in excellent condition, and most of the spaces retain their original flooring and decorative flourishes. The basement is full of light fixtures, doors, and oak molding that have been preserved over the last 140 years, and are all included in the sale price.