Twenty-five years ago Wescott, Millham & Dyer began renovations on the old Bowman Street School to transform it into the office building that the firm, now Wescott, Dyer, Fitzgerald & Nichols, PA, has called home since 1985.
Built in 1852, the Bowman Street School is one of Laconia’s oldest buildings, and was Belknap County’s first brick schoolhouse. Originally a one-story structure, the Bowman Street School underwent its first renovation in 1874, when a second story was added.
It served as a school until 1929 when it was condemned by the State. The building was then purchased by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who used the it until 1952 when it was reacquired by the City of Laconia and put back into service as an elementary school for the children of Laconia’s South end. It remained a school until 1975 when Woodland Heights School was opened, at which time ownership reverted to the VFW, who made it available to various organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Headstart and the Laconia Senior Citizen Center. These agencies eventually relocated to the Laconia Community Center, making the building available for purchase by the current owners, Bowman Street Associates, comprised of several attorneys of the Wescott, Millham & Dyer law firm.
Today, the lobby proudly showcases numerous photos taken throughout the building’s history, as well as the original school clock that was presented to Wescott, Millham & Dyer by the last principal of the Bowman Street School, Helen Hill. Also in the lobby is the original school bell presented to Laconia Historical Society by Mary Orton and made available to the firm for display. The building receives daily complements from clients and visitors who appreciate its beauty and history as much as we who work here do.
In 1984, Wescott, Millham & Dyer was comprised of seven attorneys and seventeen support staff members. Today, the building is home to the ten attorneys and twelve supporting staff members of Wescott, Dyer, Fitzgerald & Nichols, PA.