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"The Cow Shed"

In 1852 John Wilson, a graduate of Oberlin College, founded the Dover Academy as a private school for Dover Village scholars who wished an education above the eighth grade. Wilson's Academy was located about 50 feet south of where the Red Brick building now stands. Mr. Wilson retired in 1860, and since the school could not compete with free public education, it was abandoned in 1862.
In 1898 the Academy began to function as the Dover Public High School. Classes were held in one large room with four grades and two teachers. The first few classes graduated in a three year program.
The Academy building was divided in half - boys on one side, girls on the opposite side. A pot-bellied stove stood in the middle of the room, a coal bucket behind it. The students recited their lessons on long benches.
The Academy was also affectionately known as the "cow shed" because of its annual function during the Dover Fair.
When class began, the teacher rang a bronze cow bell with a long handle out the door. More often than not, the ringer of the bell flew out into the yard, causing difficulty in retrieving it.
The Red Brick School opened in 1909, and the Dover Academy building burned to the ground in December of 1913. A "new" high school building was built on the site of the former Academy in 1923.


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