Evans on the Common is located in a beautiful building with a rich, historic past. The building, originally constructed as a schoolhouse in 1871, initiated the first school district of Townsend, MA. Compared to modern day pricing, the cost of the building was remarkably low. Eight thousand dollars covered the complete expenditure of the building including materials, landscaping fees, furnishings and labor.
The first floor held the classrooms for primary and elementary students, while the older students were taught upstairs. In addition to classrooms, there were also administrative offices, a half court gym, and a small auditorium located on the second floor. Today, you can still find the original chalkboard hanging on the wall of the renovated upstairs. A ballroom was located on the third floor which still features large windows that give a beautiful scenic view of the Townsend Common.
The town went on to build a larger school; then from 1951 to 1962 a small publishing and banner press had occupied the former schoolhouse. Shortly afterward Grant Plastics settled in, they were known for manufacturing foster grant sunglasses and small plastic dolls. This company employed around one hundred and twenty five people. Following Grant Plastics occupancy, Cravens Cabinets held a short tenancy in a portion of the building.
In 1984 following an extreme renovation, Gary Evans opened Evans on the Common. Evans is a specialty retail store that adapts to the modern day needs of their customers. While continuing to conserve the beauty of the old schoolhouse, Evans has expanded and renovated the first and second floors for their specialty store.