Over the past 200 years there have been four college-preparatory ‘high schools’ in the town of Amherst, three traditional high schools, and one historic ‘prep school.’ Joseph Scanlon will focus his talk on the four high schools and their notable graduates.
Amherst Academy was founded in 1814, and was located in what is now the Amity Street parking lot, next to Amherst Cinema. Emily Dickinson attended this school from 1840 to 1847, when she entered Mary Lyons’ Mount Holyoke female Seminary.
Spring Street school was in operation from 1875 until approximately 1922. It was located in the block off Seelye Street, and there is a marble column standing on the corner Dickinson Street and Spring Street which marks the former entrance of the school.
Lessey Street School was in operation from 1922 until 1967. After the new high school opened in 1956 this building became a junior high school for the 7th and 8th grades, and remained in use until the Middle School on Chestnut Street was opened.