Moor’s Charity School was founded in 1754 by Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock to provide a Christian education to Native Americans and to English students who would serve Native American tribes as teachers and missionaries. The school was named after donor Joshua Moor of Mansfield.
Classes moved from Wheelock’s home a year later to a schoolhouse that was remodeled in the 1850s, and today stands a short distance from the church and Columbia’s town hall. The schoolhouse was moved several times, and was placed in its current location in 1948.
A plaque near the schoolhouse entrance reads, “Moor’s Charity School, 1755-1769, Columbia, Connecticut. Proudly remembered for 200 years by generations of Dartmouth men as seeding ground for Dartmouth College and and faithful steward of Eleazar Wheelock’s generous and crusading spirit. May 17, 1969.”
The school is also honored with a granite monument in front of the Congregational Church on Route 87. An inscription on the monument reads, “In 1755, Eleazar Wheelock, DD, minister at Lebanon Crank (now Columbia) founded near this spot Moor’s Indian Charity School. In 1769 the school was removed to Hanover, New Hampshire. From this beginning arose Dartmouth College, Eleazar Wheelock, president 1769-1779. Erected by the Connecticut Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1949.”