Old Bacon Academy
The Second Oldest Continuously Operating Public High School in Connecticut
The iconic large yellow building in the center of Colchester, Bacon Academy, was built in 1801 with funds provided by the estate of Colchester resident, Pierpont Bacon. Bacon Academy became known as an exceptional school drawing noted students from across the country and beyond. In 1842, Bacon Academy began to educate women on the third floor and the grammar school children on the lower floors. Still in the original building in 1954, the Academy’s enrollment was 119 students.
The by laws of Bacon Academy, adopted in 1803, specify, “Negroes and persons of color shall be provided for in a separate building to be provided by the committee.” This unique school attracted students from beyond the borders of the town of Colchester. For many years, “persons of color” from all over the country came to Colchester to get a quality education. This special school operated independently for 30 years; eventually integrating it’s students with those at Bacon Academy.
Noted graduates from Bacon Academy include Steven Austin, the school’s first graduate, who with Sam Houston, were considered founders of an independent Texas; William Buckingham and Morgan Bulkeley, governors of Connecticut; Lyman Trumbull, governor of Illinois and friend of Abraham Lincoln; Morrison Waite, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Eliphalet Bulkeley, first president of Aetna Life Insurance Company; and Edwin B. Cragin, eminent surgeon, who financed the building of the Cragin Memorial Library.
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The mission of the Colchester Historical Society is to enlighten the community to the rich history of Colchester.
New to our site:
To mark our 55th Anniversary a look at CHS beginnings.
Read about Colchester’s 8 National Treasures
New Member Services page added to keep members informed:
Updates for new events.
Details on our Ice Cream Social Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Update on efforts to save the Cogshell Robinson House
We are grateful to the many people who signed our petition to help save the house from demolition. Our effort is now getting support from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. These two organizations are now actively engaged in helping to save this important Federal style structure as an integral part of the National Registered Village District in Colchester.
If you want to continue to help save this house from demolition, please write a letter of support to: The State Historic Preservation Office, Attention Todd Levine, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 5, Hartford, CT 06103. A hearing in front of the Historic Preservation Council will be held in early September to determine the fate of the house. Your letter to SHPO can make a difference. Thank you.
Preserving history is more than buildings and places
For more information, email email@example.com.