Spaulding Memorial School was a gift given to the town by Huntley and Roland Spaulding in the early 1930's. They gave the funding to build a modern school to serve grades one through twelve as a memorial to their parents. Prior to Spaulding Memorial the town had three schools that were crowded, cold and in need of repair. At that time, the advent of Spaulding brought the end of an era of district schools and a new, more united town. The Spaulding brothers ended up spending $250,000 and this was during the depression!
Spaulding Memorial School was dedicated to the town of Townsend on its 200 year anniversary, June 29, 1932. Preceded by the biggest parade in Townsend's history. Mr. Frank Wright, Deputy Commissioner of Education of the Commonwealth, said, "Spaulding Memorial School was the finest, consolidated schoolhouse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
In 1951 six classrooms were added. This addition only temporarily solved the overcrowding problem. By 1955, it was necessary to have double sessions. Also in 1955 it was thought that forming a regional school district would help relieve the overcrowding. The population continued to grow causing a new middle school to be built and a new elementary school opened in 1987 when Spaulding closed. The latest renovation to Spaulding concluded in 1993. Spaulding's interior was beautifully reconstructed. It was important to the building committee to maintain the historical exterior look of SMS. It now serves kindergarten through fourth grade.
Why is there a bat atop the weathervane at Spaulding? There are rumors about this bat. The story we believe is that a bat was sent (by mistake) instead of an owl. The plan was to use the bat until the owl was delivered and then switch them. The owl was received, but somehow lost. Perhaps it took wing and left.