Parker Academy (1851)

June 10th, 2013 Posted in Greek Revival, Libraries, Schools, Woodbury

Parker Academy--Woodbury Public Library

As related in Volume 2 of William Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury (1872):

The south Academic Association, formed in 1851, ran “well for a season,” when the shares were bought up by Mr. Parmenns B. Hulse, who taught a private academy for some years, but having a flattering call to go to New York and engage in a book agency, he sold the building” to Mr. Frederick S. Parker, of New Haven, who removed it to the place formerly owned by Hon. Charles B. Phelps, deceased, and fitted it up for a first-class boarding-school, and at the same time enlarged and fitted up, at great expense, the Phelps mansion, for the purpose of accommodating the scholars of such a school. Rev. Alonzo N. Lewis, who had married a daughter of Mr. Phelps, opened here a boarding-school. But, having been invited to become rector of a church at Dexter, Maine, he closed his school, and rented the premises for a dwelling house. It is a very valuable property, and it is hoped that a successful boarding-school may be established there. We have a healthy location, a tidy village, an orderly community, and a most beautiful valley, with pleasant surroundings—a good place for such an institution.

According to Julia Minor Strong’s The Town and People: A Chronological Compilation of Contributed Writings from Present and Past Residents of the Town of Woodbury, Connecticut (1901)

The principals of Parker Academy, so far as can be ascertained, were as follows: Samuel Spooner, P. B. Hulse, Mr. Phinney, Rev. A. N. Lewis, Aritus G. Loomis, James Patterson, Louise Noyes, Wilbur V. Rood, Edwin Turtle, H. C. Talmage, O. C. B. Nason, Edgar H. Grout, Edward S. Boyd, H. B. Moore and Rev. Wm. Weeks. While Mr. Hulse was instructor in Parker Academy Mr. Thompson taught a select school in his residence situated on the adjoining premises. Some times there would be seventy-five scholars in each of the two schools, and it was not uncommon for six or more students to enter Yale or other colleges each year from these schools. Parker Academy was moved to its present location near the post office when Rev. A. N. Lewis was principal, and he conducted a boarding school for pupils in connection with the Parker House, then owned by Frederick S. Parker.

The Woodbury Library Association was established in 1851. In 1902, the former Parker Academy building became the town library. A modern library building was later constructed and the former Parker Academy is now the Library’s Galley Annex.

  1. One Response to “Parker Academy (1851)”

  2. By Alice DeMartino on Feb 20, 2017

    Interested in the original Parker Academy in Woodbury. Was Latin taught at the academy? Do you have any old artifacts or books on the academy to view at the library?

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