On May 8th, 1843, Zelia A. Lunt of Westbrook, visited Westbrook Seminary, for a "short fortnight," sitting in on lectures on "decisions of character," temperance, "cultivation of temper," and botany.
Less than a week later, on May 13, 1843, she turned 18.
Apparently Zelia liked what she saw during her spring visit to Westbrook Seminary because in the fall of 1843 she enrolled for a full term, anticipating an "interesting and profitable school."
In 1843 terms at Westbrook Seminary were eleven weeks each, and there were four terms a year.
Cost per term was $4 or $5, depending upon the course of study.
Zelia's studies included Moral Philosophy, chemistry and botany.
The faculty was small consisting of George W. True, headmaster, and his assistant Moses B. Walker.
Zelia enjoyed True's lectures and the study of flower structure within her botany classes.
Zelia attended classes in the Seminary Building.
This painted brick structure was constructed in 1834 at a cost of $7,000 and was the only building on campus.
Adorned with the tower removed from the Portland City Hall when it was remodeled in 1832, the Seminary Building held classrooms, or "recitation rooms," apparatus for scientific experiments, and a mineral and geology cabinet.
Zelia lived in the Pride's Corner neighborhood.
Through the month of September she walked to her Seminary classes.
On October 9, 1843, Zelia commenced boarding with Zachariah B. Stevens, founder of the japanned tinware industry on Stevens Plains.
He and Oliver Buckley donated Westbrook Seminary's original eight acres in 1831.
Westbrook Seminary Catalogue (Students, Classical Dept.), 1844
Item 29181 info
Abplanalp Library, UNE
Zelia completed her first term at Westbrook Seminary in November 1843, having participated in the declamations, a play and tableau, and a final lecture on school teaching.
She spent the winter term at home and returned for the March to May 1844 term.
Through the summer of 1844, Zelia taught school near her home.
On September 16, 1844 Zelia again entered Westbrook Seminary — this time as a "scholar" and "assistant" to George W. True and Moses B. Walker.
Her course of study included French and Moral Philosophy.
As an assistant she heard recitations and corrected compositions.
For the next 20 months Zelia continued her own education at Westbrook Seminary and served as an assistant to True and Walker.
She alternated attendance at the Seminary with teaching at her own neighborhood school.
During her time at Westbrook Seminary, music and penmanship were added to the curriculum,
and a boardinghouse, where men could board for $1.25 and women for $1, opened in the Stevens Plains neighborhood.
Zelia had an older sister, Mary Ann, who also taught school. They had a close relationship with one another and with their parents, George W. Lunt and Harriet Bacon Lunt.
Parties, get togethers and friends, especially her women friends, were important to her.
She attended lectures outside the Seminary, visited factories and businesses in the Saccarappa and Westbrook communities, read the Portland Transcript newspaper, and was interested in topics of the day such as Shakerism, mesmerism and phrenology.
She was a voracious walker and an accomplished seamstress.
In about 1855, Zelia Lunt married Henry B. Walker (1819-1900), a brickmaker and her sister's widower.
Mary Ann Lunt and Walker had married in 1847 and Mary Ann died in 1851.
Zelia and Henry had five sons: Calvin, in 1855; Edward, in 1857; Henry, in 1859; Willie, in 1866; and Charles, in 1867.
Zelia A. Lunt Walker died in 1899 at age 74. She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, now the northeast corner of Evergreen Cemetery behind the Westbrook College Campus. Her husband died a year later.
Zelia Lunt kept a diary or day book from April 18, 1843 until at least Dec. 31, 1854.
In it, she records daily events, comments on her education, on teaching, on her social life, family and friends, and considerable information about the world around her.
In 1846, she wrote: "Many may consider this practice of committing to paper the thoughts, feelings and events of the day, however simple, as a foolish waste of time; but to me it does not appear so.
"Ease is thus acquired in the narrative style of writing and much that is often important and interesting to remember, is saved from
sinking into the role of forgetfulness."
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