In 1842, the new Bloomfield Academy was constructed in Skowhegan. The new brick building replaced the very first Bloomfield Academy, a small wooden building that had been built in 1814 and served as the high school until 1871. After that, it housed elementary school classes until 1980.
Young men and women in the 19th century often went away from home -- sometimes for a few months, sometimes for longer periods -- to attend academies, seminaries, or schools run by individuals. While there, they wrote letters home, reporting on boarding arrangements and coursework undertaken, and inquired about the family at home.
After traveling to the Arctic with Robert E. Peary, Donald B. MacMillan (1874-1970), an explorer, researcher, and lecturer, helped design his own vessel for Arctic exploration, the schooner <em>Bowdoin,</em> which he named after his alma mater. The schooner remains on the seas.
Grade Level: 3-5
Content Area: Social Studies
This investigation was designed to utilize the resources of the Maine Memory Network and the Library of Congress. Students will have the opportunity to create their own albums from MMN, research their local history, and that of the state of Maine. This is a progressive approach that begins with an investigation into Yarmouth, Maine’s history, however, it could easily be adapted for any home town. Part of the exploration includes suggested visits to the local historical society and discussions with the school historian. The creative writing piece calls for students to become someone who lived in their town 100 years ago; they find the information they need be research on MMN and the Library of Congress and then write and share their stories. Along each step of the way, students created, saved, and shared albums of materials related to their research and work on MMN. The second part of this lesson is designed to coincide with the study of the history of the state of Maine and of the United States.