Macedon Academy

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1185 Macedon Center Road
Macedon, New York 14502
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marker and front - macedon academy


Macedon Academy
Est. 1841 to educate in the academics, in character, and in the equality of all people. Frederick Douglass spoke here March 6, 1861


By the William G. Pomeroy Foundation — 2014

What was there

1891 drawing of the academy - macedon academy

The Academy was a co-ed private institution founded by Quaker men in 1841 as a place of not only intermediate academic education but also for the training in high moral values.  It was a 3 year sequence to be undertaken between local school and college. The original academy was housed in a tavern (whose sale of liquor had recently ceased with the temperence movement of those days) that stood very close to the current structure. The building that now stands on this spot was built in 1853, with 165 students enrolled, and graduated its last class in 1902.

class of 1899 - macedon academy

The 3 year sequence looked like this for gentlemen – and could be modified slightly for women by substituting French, Spanish, German, Italian, Botany, Drawing and Painting for Latin and Greek.  The first two years were otherwise inflexible.  The third year was an opportunity to select 3 classes each term (for a total of 9 during the school year) that were of interest to each individual student.

First year curriculum for gentlemen - macedon academy

second year curriculum for gentlemen - macedon academy

third year curriculum choices - macedon academy

During the third year, the choices for the ladies also included: oil painting, colored crayons, pencilling, water colors, hair flowers and vocal/instrumental music.

What is there now

The original 1853 structure still stands and houses the Macedon Historical Society and Museum.  The Historical Society’s webpage is non-functional, but the phone number listed on the front of the building is 585-455-3798.  Call for hours of operation. We were unable to gain access to the inside during our visit.

More information

  • The first principal was Eaton B. Northrup whose salary was $400/year.  He died 2 years later and is buried on lot 39 of the Macedon Center Cemetery in Macedon.

Eaton B Northrup - first principal - macedon academy

  • Digitized Book: History of the Macedon Academy 1841-1891
  • From the 1848 handbook – Rule #5: “Students will not attend parties of any kind, nor will they visit those of the other sex, or take walks or rides with them, without permission of the Principal.”

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We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry: Kelly Lucero


Posted: May 21, 2016


Category: Finger Lakes, Locations, Wayne County

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