In 1817, the first permanent school for deaf children opened in Hartford, Connecticut. At the time, most Americans still lived on farms or in small towns. The scattered population made it difficult to establish schools, especially for deaf children, who were few and far between. Because schools for deaf children had to serve such large areas, most were boarding schools. In these residential settings, a community of deaf people began to form.
In one of the earliest photos of the American School for the Deaf, Girls pose for the student picture in front of the "Old Hartford" building.
American School for the Deaf c. 1890s