Who Was Mary E. Griswold?
The Mary E. Griswold School was dedicated on Sunday, October 18, 1964. The school was named for Miss Mary E. Griswold, a fighter for education in the Town of Berlin. She fought to get townspeople to spend money on education and to expand the system.
Mary E. Griswold was born on September 27, 1879, in Walton, New York, and moved to Berlin in 1894. She graduated from the New Britain Normal School (now Central Connecticut State University) and taught in Old Saybrook for three years. Upon returning to Berlin, Miss Griswold taught seventh and eighth grades at the Worthington School.
Miss Griswold was instrumental in establishing the first junior high school in Berlin by withdrawing the ninth grade students from the New Britain system and incorporating them into the Worthington School. Later, Miss Griswold left Berlin to teach in the Hartford school system for fifteen years.
She was invited back to Berlin to serve as superintendent from 1923-1932. Some of these years were very difficult, particularly those surrounding the depression.
Miss Griswold's other major accomplishments were the addition of a two-room school building in the Blue Hill section of town (presently the South Kensington Fire House) and an eight-room addition to the Kensington Grammar School during the depression. It was this addition that enabled Berlin to have its own high school program.
At the age of 85, Miss Mary E. Griswold sat on the stage of a new elementary school and listened to the dedication of a school in her honor
- - - a heartwarming reception to a woman who devoted so much of her life to education.