We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Woodstock, CT has always held a certain pride in the education of its children from colonial days to the present. Higher education beyond the basics of readin', writin' and 'rithmetic wasn't a staple of affluent farming communities during those times and Woodstock was somewhat unique in supplying the opportunity to colonial children. The "high" professions of religion, medicine and politics required a larger perspective on the world and the citizens of Woodstock provided that opportunity - mostly under the instruction of various religious and university educated leaders of the community.
As the town expanded and became more populous, the need for an organized "high" school became apparent. On January 12th, 1801 the town leadership "granted provision to build an academy on the North side of Town Common" and $100 was collected from 32 leaders of the community to build the facility.
Farmers from around the area supplied the appropriate amount of white oak and the raising was quite the social event. On Feburary 2nd, 1802, the building was opened for operation under the guidance of Preceptor Thomas Williams of Pomfret, CT.
Over the years, Woodstock Academy has both prospered and fallen on hard times. In the downturn of 1860, the original building was razed, basic post/beam construction saved and this building was it's replacement. Henry Bowen (remember him - Pink House?) donated $5,000 of the $20,000 raised and the rest is, as they say, history. Yale University had an interest in the operating of Woodstock Academy for many years (up until WWII) and supplied many of its original Preceptors and Instructors.
Woodstock Academy, while considered by the state as a public high school, is actually a private non-profit institution governed by a Board of Directors and operates outside the governance of the Woodstock Board of Education. It is considered a "free academy" - the only other similar institution in the US is also located in Connecticut, the Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT.
Tom Francis: so your wife had no remembrance of Martin Deeg, Academy Class of 1973, Woodstock resident but not Woodstock native. As he most likely didn't attend middle school in Woodstock, that is understandable.
Here's another one. Back in the day I met a Woodstock resident and Academy student whom I remembered as Nancy McPeak, Academy class circa 1967-69. A friend of a friend. Not too many years later I read in the paper of a Nancy McKeague of Woodstock. I am thinking that maybe I mistook McKeague for McPeak, and that I had actually met Nancy McKeague.
We moved into town about 35 years or so ago - neither one of us went to school here, but have been active in local affairs (FD, EMS, School stuff) so we've met a lot of folks and have a lot of friends.
Even in a town with only 6,400 permanent residents, it's hard to know everybody. :>)
Tom, even if one has been around for a long time, memory can be tricky. When I was in elementary school, a friend of mine in the next grade died in an accident. While I didn't discuss the death much at the time, it affected me deeply.
Several years ago I was discussing that death with a classmate who had moved to town several years before the accident. She had stayed in the area, and was living in town at the time, so it could definitely be said she had maintained ties with the area more than I had. Her response: what death? She didn't have an idea what I was talking about.
Your memory is pretty good. Nancy McKeague and I were friends at Woodstock Academy in the 1960s. Didn't date, just friends. I was Class of 1968, she was, I think, two years behind me -- Class of 1968. I last saw her in the winter of 1968-69, when she visited me during my sophomore year at Lake Forest College (IL). I believe she went to Radcliffe, and I spoke by phone with her once after that, around 1970. Some years after that I heard from my family that Nancy had committed suicide in Woodstock in December of 1973. I know nothing more than this but still miss her.