This copy of the 1892-1893 Gould Academy Circular (Catalog) is available here through the courtesy of the Bethel Historical Society.
The academy building shown on the catalog’s cover is the structure built in 1881 which replaced and expanded on the original 1836 academic building. It was the academy’s only building.
After 1896 building modifications were added almost yearly.
Of particular interest is the academy’s board of trustees.
In 1893, all trustees lived or worked within a few minutes carriage ride of the academy. They had all known each other for most of their adult lives.
Trustees participated in running the school. They examined new students, helped secure lodging for students, kept the academy’s accounts and worked with the principal as the school’s administrative staff .
In addition to being trustees, each board member was likely to be actively engaged in town affairs as well as operating their local businesses which could be quite extensive and hold active positions in one of the Bethel village churches.
The individual trustees had to mold two political personalities. One view was the interests of the academy and the other was the town’s interest which some of the board members would find themselves either having to articulate or defend. Trustee influence was never strong enough during these years to move the town voters to approve town payment of tuition for town students to attend the academy at public expense.
Look for news of Academy activities in the regular weekly news columns.