Lenox Academy (1803)

Lenox Academy was built in 1803, on Main Street in Lenox. According to Rev. Raymond DeWitt Mallary, in Lenox and the Berkshire Highlands (1902), wrote:

To be a graduate of Lenox Academy was not only a distinction, it was a passport to any college, and often to the sophomore class of a higher institution of learning. The papers of the day within a radius of a hundred miles refer to this preparatory school with glowing commendation. Its pupils came from widely separated portions of the country and the fame of its examinations, which were of unusual rigidity, attracted visitors from long distances, who repaired to their homes to spread the report of them. The tuition was very moderate, —$7 a term of fourteen weeks; and board reached the not exorbitant sum of “$1.25 to $1.50 per week in good families.” The tradition has survived that one pupil (long a distinguished educator and only lately deceased) ” lived like a dandy because he had rooms at the hotel, for which he paid $2 per week.” Lenox Academy flourished until 1866.

The building housed various schools until the 1920s and was saved from demolition in 1947 when the town took it over. It housed various public organizations and today it is the headquarters of the Lenox Historical Society, which operates the Museum of Lenox History.

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2 Responses to Lenox Academy (1803)

  1. Sandy Janiskee says:

    I have found an autograph book from 1880. It belonged to Alice Tilden. It was given to her from her grandmother Grandma Abbott. It was a Christmas gift Dec. 1880. Some of the entries mention Lenox Academy 1883. Students were from all over. Carthage, MO, Brooklyn and Rochester, NY, Galesburg, IL, Mass etc.

    I would love to find her relatives who may want this book. Can you help?
    Sandy Janiskee
    803-781-8651
    or e-mail above.

    Thank you.

  2. C G Tozer says:

    Thanks for this helpful information, I photographed the academy during my recent visit from the UK. Loved Lenox – so pretty like the cover the Peoples’ Friend magazine :)