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St. Cecilia Academy

St. Cecilia Academy

Photo courtesy of Patrick Hawkins
The St. Cecilia community was founded in Nashville in 1860
for educating young women.


St Cecilia Academy

The founding of St. Cecilia Academy was simultaneous with the founding of Tennessee’s only Motherhouse of Dominican Sisters, the Congregation of St. Cecilia of Nashville. At the request of Bishop James Whelan, also a Dominican, four sisters from Somerset, Ohio, came to establish an Academy for the higher education of young women in the Diocese of Nashville, in August of 1860. Classes opened the following October on a hill in North Nashville known as Mount Vernon Gardens.

One of the co–foundresses, Mother Frances Walsh – who was still in her teens at the time – kept a journal of these first days. In referring to the boarding students’ schedule, she wrote that the school hours were long, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, with an hour’s intermission at noon. However, “. . . there were no studies after supper as it was thought that evenings spent free from all serious application were conducive to health of mind and body” (Annals).

Music and art were important areas of emphasis from the outset. Included in one of the Academy’s first courses of study were: painting, sculpture, pottery and china, piano, organ, harp, violin, and voice.

“But for the terrible cloud that lowered and threatened, all things foretold a bright and prosperous career for St. Cecilia Academy” (Annals). The Academy’s early years were inextricably bound up with the Civil War. The first commencement exercises were held in June of 1862. Miss Doyle of Tennessee and Miss Schipp of Kentucky graduated in the concert hall, which had been constructed in 1861, despite the war, to meet a growing enrollment. Lanterns borrowed from the railroad lit up the grounds, as over a thousand guests gathered to hear Reverend Mr. McDonald, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, deliver St. Cecilia’s first baccalaureate address.

Lee surrendered in April, but the school session continued until June 1865. That summer the girls returned to homes which had been ruined or abandoned. In September of 1865, St. Cecilia opened with a greatly reduced student body. Many of the debts owed to the Academy went unpaid. Deprived of its income, the school could not pay its own debts and the property was sold at public auction in September of 1867.

Although the Bishop purchased the school and returned it to the sisters, he later decided to close it because he was convinced that the congregation could never pay the debt. The sisters were told to return to Ohio, but they begged to stay and promised to extricate the Academy from financial collapse.

Prosperity gradually returned to Tennessee, and by 1880 the applications to St. Cecilia had increased to the extent that a new building was needed. Further additions to the campus at Eighth Avenue and Clay Street were made in 1883 and 1903.

With the city’s growth and general movement westward, in 1923 the Congregation decided to purchase the ninety–two acre Joseph Warner Estate in West Nashville. Thirty–three years later, on the feast of St. Cecilia, November 22, 1956, ground was broken on the Overbrook property for the new St. Cecilia Academy. A year later, the statue of St. Cecilia was set in place and the new building on Harding Road was dedicated by Bishop Adrian.

This marked a new era for an old institution. St. Cecilia entered the 1960’s confidently, with over a century of progress in the field of education to her credit – anxious to begin the next 100 years of providing young women with an education of the highest religious, academic, and cultural standards.

From http://www.stcecilia.edu

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Central High School

Central High School

Main Building


Library


Gym


1927 Central High Foot Ball Team


1927 Central High Baseball Team
(you can see the old Fairgrounds wooden roller coaster, “The Skyliner” in the background)

From the Nashville Central High School Alumni Web Site:

Central High School

Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
1917 – 1971

(The above color print of Central High School was drawn by J. M. Garner. Copies of this drawing suitable for framing may be obtained from the Association)

Founded in 1917 as the first public high school in the county system, Central High School stood from 1921 -1971. One of the earliest student government associations in the South began here.  Many graduates became city and county political leaders.   The last mayor of the old Nashville City Government, Ben West, and the first Metro Government mayor, Beverly Briley, were classmates here.   The last graduating class was 1971 after which the school, located in south Nashville on the hill above the State Fairgrounds on Raines Avenue between Wedgewood Avenue, and Southgate Avenue, was torn down and converted to a Public Television Station.

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Tennesse School For The Blind

Man, what a magnificent building!

Jim Stephens at South Nashville has this:

Corner of Filmore street (Hermitage Ave.) and Middleton  around 1882.   Judging from the apparent unpaved streets and the 1780’s horse-drawn coach, this photo seems much older. However, the Tennessee School for the Blind in the background had obtained its new additions on each end of the center part of the building along with the new center tower which dates the photo for us somewhat.   The center portion was at first a residence for John Lea, a prominent Nashville Judge in the 1870’s. Judge Lea donated this home to the State of Tennessee for use as a school for the blind. The State added the two wings and the center tower around 1881.  Sometime later the cupolas on each end section were removed (probably by a storm) and never replaced. A bell tower similar to the cupolas was constructed and placed on top of the center portion. That same bell hangs in a brick bell tower today on the campus of the new School for the Blind which was constructed in the Donelson area in 1952. The old building shown here was demolished around the mid 1960’s.

image courtesy Jim Stephens

image courtesy Jim Stephens

Sir Francis Joseph Campbell (left) with second wife Sophia (right)

In 1840, 4-year-old Winchester, Tennessee native Francis Joseph Campbell was accidently blinded by a Locust branch. His parents provided him with every educational opportunity, including being the second child enrolled in the newly created Tennessee School for the Blind. Campbell went on to serve as Superintendent of the school and pioneered teaching techniques that revolutionized education. He later moved to England where he helped found the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music, which was so successful he was knighted in 1909 by King Edward VII. Sir Francis Campbell returned to American in 1912 where he remained until his death in 1914.

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Isaac Litton was erected in 1930 and the Junior High was added in 1954.
The combined enrollment in 1954-55 was 1700.



Lunch Room
Next door to the school was the Lions Dairy Dip. I wonder if many kids opted to have their lunch there?

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Hume Fogg High School

Hume Fogg High School

Photo courtesy Mike Slate


Notice the addition of another wing on the right side.

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Buena Vista School April 1897


Photo Courtesy Julie Steele

Boy! That teacher looks like she’s about to wail on someone.

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