Created By: William J. Johnston Middle School
A prominent local farmer amassed a small fortune after the American Revolution. Upon his death in December 1800, $35,000 (equivalent to $700,000 in 2019) was left for the establishment of a school. Construction began in 1801 and completed for November 1802, but did not actually open until the following year. Due to a contestment of the founder Bacon's will by his nephews, the opening was delayed until November 1803.
Many prestigious people have walked these halls. Stephen F. Austin, founder of Texas was one of the earliest graduates. Besides Austin, Sen. Lyman Trumbull (author of the Civil Rights Amendments) and Gov. Morgan Bulkeley (CT governor, mayor of Hartford, and first president of the National League of baseball) are just some of the noted alumni.
The school was considered public-private until the 1950s when the trustees turned over the management of curriculum to the Colchester Board of Education. New schools were opened in 1962 and 1993, however this building continued to be used for education. For many decades it was the public schools’ central office and most recently used as an alternative setting for local students.updated-sound
This point of interest is part of the tour: Colchester Heritage Walk