by Thomas Gray
Guilford Town Historian
Looking at the early development of the Hamlet of Guilford in Smith’s History of Chenango County, we find across the road from the Presbyterian Church the first schoolhouse. The original building built in 1828 was an Academy (select school & public meetings) on the top floor and a common school on the bottom floor.
The building was 36 by 24 feet with a chimney in the rear. John Latham, Dauphin Murray, Rufus Baldwin John Whiting, Daniel S. Dickinson, Calvin Mills and Phineas Atwater were elected trustees. They contracted Horace Dresser to teach in the common school for one year for $75 and board. In 1844 the Academy was discontinued. The building was then only used as a district schoolhouse. The building was repaired and as you see in the photo the two story building was now only one story.
But the memories of the Academy persist. Students desirous of not just getting out of school but to make themselves helpful and caring in the world and wanting to make themselves great. Daniel Dickinson in the Academy was one of them. He wrote,
“Let’s make ourselves great again.”