Friday, March 30, 2007

1914 Dummer Academy Student Body

This panoramic photograph taken in front of the Mansion House captures the Dummer Academy student body in 1914. According to the catalog of that year, “the school for boys”, enrolled both boarding and day students starting at the age of ten years. To the right of the line of students, with a bowler hat, is Headmaster Charles S. Ingham. Standing proudly with his young scholars he seems to say “the school aims to discover the possibilities of each student and to train him so that in utilizing his possibilities, he may think clearly and soundly, and, with widened perceptions and strengthened affections, seek eagerly his proper place in the community, render full service and advance high purposes.”

Under the watchful eye of Headmaster Ingham and a faculty of seven masters, the sixty-six students enjoyed “the wholesome, normal life so necessary for a proper development.” In addition to playing football, basketball and hockey, “the boys enjoy the country sports in their season-hunting, snowshoeing and swimming in the Parker River.” While the boys enjoyed an active and varied social life, “the distractions of city life are eliminated. The school is the center of interest.” Reassuring words for parents of every generation!

*All quotes taken from the 1914 school catalog

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Portrait of George W. Adams

This portrait of George W. Adams was painted and presented to the school in November 1939 by the Reverend Glenn Tilley Morse, a friend and Trustee of the Academy. An 1873 graduate of Dummer Academy, Mr. Adams remained close to the community during his life by attending vesper services every Sunday evening. On February 2, 1945 at the age of ninety, Adams proudly became the oldest living alumnus of Governor Dummer Academy. He spoke enthusiastically of his family’s connection linking four generations of descendants including two masters, two trustees and seventy-five students to his beloved school. The portrait, depicting Adams in an armchair holding a copy of The Milestone, is a wonderful tribute to a man who cared deeply for the Academy.
*Question for our alums: Does anyone remember meeting George W. Adams? (Mr. Adams was known locally as an apiarist or beekeeper)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Piece of Fort Dummer!

This curiosity, a piece of wood measuring 3” x 4 ½” with attached label, “From Fort Dummer/Brattleboro, Vt. 1724”, is an unusual link to the Academy’s history. Fort Dummer, once located in Brattleboro, Vermont, was built while William Dummer was the acting Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Constructed of sturdy white pine the fort protected the English colony from invasion by the French and their Native American allies the Abenackis.

Today, Fort Dummer State Park in Brattleboro, Vermont, overlooks the site of Fort Dummer which was flooded when the Vernon Dam was built on the Connecticut River in 1908. The actual site of Fort Dummer is now underwater.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pansy the Mascot!

This is a great photograph! The image is produced by scanning a 2 ¼" x 2 ¼” negative into Photoshop then inverting it. This is one of four photographs taken of “Pansy” the goat, the original appearing in the October 26, 1940 issue of The Archon, and later in the 1941 Milestone. Standing next to Pansy is faculty member, Leander Kirk, and his son Paul. Pansy is introduced as the new Governor Dummer Academy mascot at a preseason football game in the fall of 1940.

*Question for our alumni: Does anyone know who owned Pansy and how she came to be the Academy’s mascot?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Governor’s Academy History Comes Alive!

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in the archives is being able to share the little stories or what I like to call “golden nuggets” of the school’s history. Instead of having these stories or tidbits of information floating around in my head, having an opportunity to share them with the community through an archives blog will be fun. Creating a blog is a new experience for me and I have to admit, I am a little nervous. But, I think it will be enjoyable and it is my hope that you too will come to appreciate the Academy’s unique history. If any information in this blog sparks an interest or a memory, please share your thoughts with me by clicking on the comment button at the end of an entry. I am looking forward to hearing from you!