But when this school was built, it was scaled to fit with Newburgh's great expectations.
|"quoins and eaves treatment of stone cornice and returns" RH|
"To establish a school of high academic standards was the idea of three leading citizens. Dr. I.B.Aylesworth, Robert Hope (innkeeper) and George Eakins (cabinetmaker.)"
The Academy had begun on an earlier site in 1839, and moved into new digs here in 1853.
|peculiar pediment, queer quatrefoil, New England-y lantern|
This was remarkable when you consider that a research paper I found (have a look) reports the average daily school attendance almost 60 years later was 61% (in 1900) and that boys and girls often left by 9 or 10 to work at home or in factories.)
|gigantic stone pilasters|
Attendance, once strong, fell off when the high school students moved to Napanee in 1952; the Academy closed for good in 1965. But the good news? It's still standing.
In the 1850s Newburgh had aspired to be the seat of government for the new-born Lennox and Addington county, but the port of Napanee with its lake access was selected. Next, the new Grand Trunk railway passed it by. Five major fires followed. In 1887, eighty-four buildings burned. Imagine the heartbreak? Most of Main Street was destroyed. The decline, once begun, continued.
The up side? As Cruickshank et al explain it, "the lack of growth in Newburgh in this century has ensured the survival of most of its historic buildings and streetscapes." It's an ill wind that blows nobody good. More on my journeys through Newburgh later.