New Hampton History: The Ferguson Collection

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It is not often that we receive a collection from a former faculty member of New Hampton School. To my delight, we recently received ten letters, eleven Fritz Robbins watercolor postcards, and photographs of the campus. The letters and postcards were penned on the reverse by John L. Ferguson who taught English here in 1945. John’s daughter Anne donated the items and heard stories of his time at the school.

A Letter from John

On John’s first day of school, he wrote home to his mom and dad describing his day, “This evening finds me at the end of my first day of teaching and apparently none the worse for the wear. I have four classes of third-year or junior English, one study hall, and also a free period. Duties, however, include evening study in the dormitory…” John also worked on the Manitou, the school newspaper, and with the band playing at football games. The correspondence comes to us from 1945 considered “The War Years” when the school did not produce a yearbook.

Moments in History

Hailing from California, Ferguson left his family’s ranch to teach. The letters often include his fiancé Phyllis and his travels to Boston to visit her. His parents told him that if teaching doesn’t work out, he can always come back to ranching.

While here in New Hampton, John Ferguson struck up a friendship with local artist and teacher, Fritz Robbins. Here is a copy of one of the postcards Fritz mailed to John of the New Hampton Community Church.

While Ferguson didn’t stay long at the school, clearly his time teaching left an impression. Some of the photos John took while on campus:

Winter image of New Hampton by John Ferguson

John Ferguson's photo of Lane Hall

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