Honoring Our Past

Our school’s history has been shared for years on this website in shorter pieces and summations. Through preparations in advance of the School’s bicentennial, research allowed an invigorating deeper look at the tales behind our diverse community. On behalf of the history and steering committees of the bicentennial, we’re thrilled to share this timeline with new discoveries, hidden figures, and stories showcasing the rich history of New Hampton School.

200 Years of History

200 Years of History
1821
1821

Simpson’s Vision of New Hampton Academy

Simpson’s Vision of New Hampton Academy
1821 Boston merchant, John Kelley Simpson (1787-1837) established a school in the village of New Hampton. Simpson financed the project and a tradition was born. New Hampton School owes its existence to the vision, passion and ongoing energy/oversight of John K. Simpson (JKS). He was a native son who left New Hampton in 1805 and walked to Phillips Andover Academy. He spent enough time at Andover to obtain “a Certificate that I am capable of teaching a Grammar School”..Read More
1821

Announcement of the New Hampton Academy

Announcement of the New Hampton Academy
Trustees of the Academy announced the formal opening of New Hampton Academy in an advertisement from July 1821. The public are informed that the first term in this Seminary for the instruction of young Gentlemen and Ladies, will commence on Monday the 17th of September next, at the new and elegant Building on the town Common, within six rods of the meeting house. Mr. George Richardson, who graduated at Dartmouth College at the last commencement,..Read More
1821

Opening Day – Monday, September 17

Opening Day – Monday, September 17
On June 27, 1821 the State of New Hampshire issued a charter to the school. On September 17, 1821, the new academy welcomed forty students ages eight to eighteen, including thirteen from Boston who boarded with local families. The first instructor or “preceptor,” was George Richardson, an Episcopalian and Dartmouth College graduate chosen for his ability to deliver a diverse curriculum. While only one room was ready when the doors opened, the schoolhouse was a..Read More
1824
1824

Longing to Sing

Longing to Sing
In the fourth year of New Hampton School’s existence (Nov 1824), about two dozen students, “desirous of improving our selves in the Art or Science of Musick,” submitted a petition to establish a singing school at the Academy. Two of the signers, brothers William and Nathan Mallon, were boarding students from Boston. What is remarkable about this almost two-hundred-year-old document is how it captures the importance of student voices right from the beginning. The students..Read More
1825
1825

New Mission

With Baptist sponsorship, New Hampton Academy became New Hampton Academical and Theological Institution, educating students to become ministers and missionaries. Character development has always been central to the New Hampton curriculum. In 1825 the school adopted the name The New Hampton Academical and Theological Institution to reflect the patronage of the New England Freewill Baptists and the curriculum’s emphasis on the spiritual aspects of character development.
1827
1827

Literary Societies

Literary Societies
Opportunities for abundant cultural and social opportunities on the NHS campus were provided through very active literary societies:  the Literary Adelphi (1827); the competing Social Fraternity (1830); the Ladies Literary and Missionary Association (1833) – reconstituted as the  Germanae  Delictae  Scientiae (1853). Very active throughout the 19th and early 20th century,1 the societies disappeared by the late 1940s, replaced by more and more co-curriculars added to the NHS program.2 In the archives of New Hampton School there are hundreds of elaborately designed and printed programs for the..Read More
1827

Martha Hazeltine, Principal Female Seminary

Martha Hazeltine, Principal Female Seminary
The female seminary in New Hampton was led by the dynamic school alumna Martha Hazeltine of the class of 1827. “Her instruction electrified her pupils with a desire to drink deep at the fountain of knowledge. All thirsted for information. And probably the fact, that many of the truths communicated to pupils, were new to the teacher, perhaps acquired by the midnight lamp the night previous, imparted a life to the instruction, which tended to..Read More
1835
1835

Impressive Visit

Two Ministers from England, Rev. Hoby and Rev. Cox, visited and observed the school in action for several days. Their fascinating account – not unlike a NEASC Visiting Committee Report – was published in an 1836 Baptist Journal (digital copy available in the NHS Archives). The two were very favorably impressed with the Female Seminary and wished England might have schools like New Hampton. Rev. Hoby and Rev. Cox recounted many details of their visit..Read More
1839
1839

Sarah Sleeper’s Vision

Sarah Sleeper’s Vision
In 1839 Sarah Sleeper (NHS Class of 1832) advanced from “able associate” of Ms. Hazeltine’s to the second Head of the New Hampton Female Seminary. When she departed in 1847, she sailed to Bangkok to spend the remainder of her 42 years in missionary work. She wrote: “It was my ambition when I came to Siam [Thailand] to have a school such as we had in New Hampton. This is the way it stood in..Read More
1852
1852

Abyss and Re-birth

Abyss and Re-birth
School relocates, including its name, to the hometown of Professor Smith to Fairfax, Vermont in 1852 After decades of growth under the leadership of Professor Eli B. Smith, D.D., financial constraints led the school to the brink. Failure to build an endowment and dwindling support from NH Calvinist Baptists ended in the relocation of the school, including its name, to the hometown of Professor Smith, Fairfax, Vermont in 1852. What remained in NH were empty..Read More
1853
1853

Women’s Literary Society

Women’s Literary Society
In 1853, The Germanae Delictae Scientiae began as a ladies’ literary society. It started one month after the Female Department at the New Hampton Literary and Biblical Institution opened. Societies were a popular way for like-minded students to have meetings, lectures, plays, and more. It was also significant for its library and reading room. Additionally, members exhibited their talents monthly at open public meetings. This helped establish them not only within the Female Department but..Read More
1866
1866

Atwood Bond Meservey & The New Hampton Commercial College

Atwood Bond Meservey & The New Hampton Commercial College
Meservey turned to business courses at a time when the need to teach students how to thrive in business was at hand. He also adopted the premier writing style of one-year student, Austin Norman Palmer and the Palmer Method. Atwood Bond Meservey made the New Hampton Literary Institution his life’s work. He held the longest tenure at the institution for his time, remaining there for thirty-five years (1862-1898). This does not include the time spent as a student in the classical..Read More
1870
1870

More Focus on Academics

More Focus on Academics
The strong department of Theological Studies moves to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine In an era when small Christian schools with adequate funding developed into liberal arts colleges (e.g., the Charity School became Dartmouth College), New Hampton doubled down on its commitment to secondary education by expanding its professional-level department of Theological Studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (1870). The school was then free to focus on the traditional academic curriculum utilizing innovative methods of instruction.
1875
1875

Visit from a Literary Icon

Visit from a Literary Icon
A visit from Ralph Waldo Emerson during commencement. Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered an address, “Social Aims,” to the Literary Societies and, after spending the night at Harvey House, attended commencement the following day, July 1, 1875. The 1874-75 Catalogue for New Hampton Institution notes, “The anniversary exercises were made especially interesting and memorable by the presence of one of America’s ripest and ablest scholars, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who listened with manifest interest to the exercises,..Read More
1883
1883

Fresh Off The Press

Fresh Off The Press
Our signature magazine, The Hamptonia, owes its beginnings to the literary societies and left a trail of historical stories told by alumni and faculty throughout the first hundred years. We continue this tradition today with an annual production of the year in review gleaming with content from all touched by the institution. The Hamptonia, published quarterly by the Social Fraternity and Literary Adelphi, made its first appearance on March 26, 1883. This first edition had 28 pages bound in a blue paper cover with local advertisements inside and out. In those..Read More
1896
1896

Gordon-Nash Library

Gordon-Nash Library
Judge Stephen G. Nash, New Hampton Alum (1838) and Dartmouth College (1842), provided a bequest to build and endow a library for the benefit of the school and the town. The Gordon-Nash Library opened in 1896.  New Hampton alumnus Judge Stephen G. Nash (Class of 1834) funded the Gordon-Nash Library to serve “residents, students, and sojourners” and bequeathed to it his extensive personal collection. According to the History of the Gordon-Nash Library “In the 1880’s only..Read More
1898
1898

Head of School Frank W. Preston

Head of School Frank W. Preston
Professor Preston made NHLI his life’s work staying for almost 50 years. Frank W. Preston entered New Hampton Literary Institution (NHLI) as a student on November 27, 1875 and became a member of the Social Fraternity. He completed the English and Commercial courses in 1877 and returned as a Post Graduate student in 1877-78. He began teaching at NHLI in the fall of 1878 and was made associate principal in 1887 also he received the..Read More
1918
1918

1918 Flu Pandemic

1918 Flu Pandemic
Due to the flu pandemic, New Hampton closed twice: October 9-21, 1918, and December 14, 1918-January 6, 1919. “Our school, like many others, has suffered much from the influenza epidemic. Still, we consider ourselves very fortunate that all of our members were able to return.” – Hamptonia Vol 39, Issue 2: March 1919 Read more about the school’s pandemic experience on NHS Today.
1919
1919

Changing Days

Changing Days
By 1919, World War I had contributed to a radical decline in the local population and school enrollment droped drastically. The School dropped its Baptist affiliation and became The New Hampton Literary Institute.
1921
1921

Celebrating Our Centennial

Celebrating Our Centennial
“It is a hundred years of work to be proud of. Thousands of men and women from all over the world are glad to say that they got their early training in this old school.” – Hamptonia, Vol. XLI, Issue 4.
1926
1926

New Transformation

New Transformation
Frederick Smith (’10) was appointed Headmaster and transformed a weakened school into the vibrant college preparatory New Hampton School for Boys. Despite the Great Depression, the school grew to more than 150 students. By 1925 NHLI was a shadow of its former self, with an ever-shrinking enrollment and buildings in disrepair. Concerned Trustees reached out (for the third time) to 1910 NHLI alum, Frederick Smith (Bates B.A., Harvard M.A.) with a plea that he lead his alma mater into the future. Smith, whose parents..Read More
1953
1953

Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence
Frederick “Fritz” Robbins (1893-1974) was an American artist and, for much of his life, a resident of New Hampton, New Hampshire. He was well known for his etched prints and watercolors. His legacy continues at New Hampton School in the Fritz Robbins Scholarship which supports a promising visual arts student. This map of campus was created in 1953 by Robbins.
1959
1959

Fresh Vision For A New Future

Fresh Vision For A New Future
T. Holmes Moore (’38) was appointed Head of School and enrollment doubled to 300 students as programs and facilities expanded. In 1972 co-education again became part of the New Hampton experience, just as it had for the school’s first 105 years. T. Holmes (“Bud”) Moore – Head of School from 1959-72; President from 1972-90; and President and Head from 1990-92. Bud Moore came to the campus as one of Fred Smith’s “worthy boys.” He soon fell in love with both..Read More
1970
1970

Co-Education Returns

Co-Education Returns
An important time of change: a new headmaster, computers, girls and leisure in the ‘70s. Lou Gnerre began teaching in 1957 and followed Bud Moore as Headmaster working to advance the school with the addition of girls and computers. If not for a wrong turn, New Hampton would not have had the pleasure of Lou Gnerre on campus. He would stay for over thirty years (1957-1988). During Mr. Gnerre’s tenure at New Hampton School, he was appointed headmaster during a pivotal time of returning to co-education. In the ‘70s, the country was feeling..Read More
1992
1992

Jeffrey Pratt Beedy appointed Head of School

Jeffrey Pratt Beedy appointed Head of School
Jeffrey Pratt Beedy (Ed.D. Harvard University) appointed Head of School and created the Total Human Development Model which was recognized as a National School of Character. Dr. Beedy brought a new philosophy of education to New Hampton School. The Total Human Development Model had as its guiding principle the mission to nurture and shape the whole person within the whole community. The school-wide culture and curriculum were built around a development philosophy that informed everything the School did and embraced the values..Read More
1998
1998

Expanding Arts and Athletics

Expanding Arts and Athletics
Significant changes to the school’s architecture would once again happen on campus in the ‘90s including Arts, Athletics, Library and Lounge.  Completed in 1987, the T. Holmes Moore Center represents more than just campus expansion; it is the dynamic center of campus life. Not only does it house a student center, a 400-seat theater, the Galletly [Art] Gallery and studios, photography lab, radio station, and classrooms, but it also serves as a bridge, linking the dining hall to the gymnasium. By..Read More
1998

Burleigh Mountain

Burleigh Mountain
The School acquired the remaining acreage on Burleigh Mountain. The frontside ski slope was purchased in 1969.
2002
2002

National School of Character

National School of Character
New Hampton School was recognized as a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership. This followed years of committing to character-driven curricula and the development of the core beliefs of respect and responsibility.
2005
2005

Andrew Menke appointed Head of School

Andrew Menke appointed Head of School
Andrew Menke was appointed Head of School in January 2005. During a renaissance period at New Hampton, Mr. Menke guided the School through a comprehensive strategic planning process, began the most ambitious capital campaign in the institution’s history, helped make New Hampton the first boarding school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, and introduced iPads into the curriculum. In addition, the School continued its physical plant transformation in 2009 when the Pilalas Center..Read More
2009
2009

Pilalas Center for Math and Science

Pilalas Center for Math and Science
As often is the case, the trustees of New Hampton School faced a challenge with their existing academic building, Randall Hall, which had to be upgraded to meet the current learning styles and classroom technologies of today’s environment.  The solution was a new 28,000 square-foot math and science facility carefully designed and placed on the historic “Academic Row” of Main Street, New Hampton.  The building was designed with many environmentally responsible and energy-efficient features to serve the needs of the school..Read More
2010
2010

International Students and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

International Students and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
International Students and New Hampton School From the early days of its founding 200 years ago, New Hampton School has had a global presence that translated to a richer environment for the whole community. In its first two decades (1821-1841) fifteen international students left their homes to attend NHS while boarding with local families. Since then, hundreds more have followed, coming from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica,..Read More
2016
2016

 Joe Williams begins his tenure as Head of School

 Joe Williams begins his tenure as Head of School
In 2016, Joe Williams began his tenure as Head of School. Joe was raised as a faculty child at Lawrence Academy, where he also went to school. He attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where he played basketball and met his wife Eileen. Joe worked for several years at boarding schools following his undergraduate program. For seven years, he briefly shifted his focus to the business world, working for Reebok International, before he and Eileen..Read More
2016

Animation with the Walt Disney Family Museum

Animation with the Walt Disney Family Museum
New Hampton commences partnership with the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco, California. In 2016, New Hampton implemented the pilot course “Animation with the Walt Disney Family Museum,” an exploration of animation techniques offered through the Art Department and co-taught by Art faculty and Disney educators. The success of the course has led to ongoing programs with the Walt Disney Family Museum, including a developing curriculum in animation and a summer camp. These challenging and..Read More
2016

Jacobson Arena: A New Era for New Hampton Hockey

Jacobson Arena: A New Era for New Hampton Hockey
With a large lead gift from the GO BEYOND campaign chairman, Dean Jacobson ’68, the vision of an ice hockey arena was realized. The new facility includes a sunken ice surface for improved viewing angles, a heated spectator room, bleachers, spacious varsity locker rooms, and offices for the coaches. With construction costs rising year after year, a repair bill to the previous rink, Lindsay Arena, in excess of $1 million, and an accelerated fundraising effort..Read More

An independent, college preparatory school for boarding and day students, grades 9-12 and postgraduate.

© Copyright 2020 New Hampton School