TO BE OR NOT
TO BE ...???
THAT IS THE
History of the
After pictures surfaced claiming that a building
on the corner of Flint and Madison was the
Albany High School,
we began a research, since that did not match up
with the history originally submitted to
The Albany High Times.
So we went to the
Indians and asked for help!
We received information
from Mary Ann Caldbeck Allen ('63)
and David Sherman ('61), two AHS
Indians interested in Albany history, who sent
scanned copies of pages taken from
Reminiscences of DOUGHERTY COUNTY GEORGIA"
~ compiled by
Thronateeska Chapter, Daughters of
the American Revolution
... and amongst
those pages was the answer to the question!!!
Below are portions taken from 4 of the pages in
this wonderful historical book, and all the
information we needed to make our decision about THE FIRST ALBANY HIGH SCHOOL!!! But
we had to be careful ... some things were not
Let's start at
the beginning ... the first written
history of a school in Albany, GA. That
school was ...
Mrs. Anselm Sterne's Institute
was founded in the fall of 1877 by Mrs. Anselm
Sterne, and had its humble beginning in the home
of its founder, where for two years it was
carried on. But so rapidly did it grow
that larger quarters were soon found to be
necessary, and a commodious school building was
erected in 1880. Thus from a small
institution with but few departments, it had
developed into a complete one with every
department at that time found in the
well-established college, from the kindergarten
up through the collegiate. The school
flourished, and many of Albany’s present most
prominent matrons there received their diplomas,
while scores of others received their
preparation for college within its walls."
So was Mrs.
Anselm Sterne's Institute the first
Albany High School?
or was ....
"It was in 1885
that a movement which resulted in the building
known as the Albany Academy was
inaugurated. Albany then was without a
public school, the need of which was sorely
felt. Agitation of the matter was begun by
the Albany News and Advertiser, then the
only newspaper in Albany. H. M. McIntosh
was editor of the paper, which opened a campaign
to raise $5,000, the sum considered necessary.
In a short time $3,500 was secured. The
City Council was then asked to appropriate the
$1,500 still needed, and in obedience to public
sentiment, favorable action was taken. The
project then passed into the hands of the
municipal authorities, but the City Council
appointed a commission, composed of L. E. Welch,
Sr., T. M. Carter and H. M. McIntosh, to erect
The lot on the
northwest corner of Flint and Madison
streets was purchased from the late Col. Nelson
Tift, who had subscribed liberally to the school
fund, and who sold the school lot for a good
deal less than its market value.
The new school
was named, “The Albany Academy.” It
opened for the fall term in 1886 with G. J. Orr
as Principal, S. P. Orr assistant principal and
Miss Belle Bacon teacher of the primary grade.
The building was two stories in height, but none
of the second floor was utilized.
About two years
after the Academy was opened, it was destroyed
by fire, the origin of which was and still is a
mystery. It was rebuilt as quickly as
possible, the Court House – the old red brick
Court House which went the way of other
land-marks not many years later – being utilized
for school purposes while rebuilding was in
Many brick from
the walls of the first building went into those
of the second, which was architecturally an
almost exact duplication of its predecessor.
In a few years the local public
school system outgrew the Academy. The
rooms on the second floor were all utilized and
an addition was built. It sufficed but a
few years. Then another addition was
built. Finally a one-story annex with two rooms
for the primary grade was erected east of the
main building -
but always until the High School was built in
1908, the Academy was crowded.
principals of the Albany Academy prior to the
establishment of the city system of schools
were G. J. Orr, Dion C. Sullivan, Z. I.
Fitzpatrick, H. W. Jones, E. G. Jones, S. R. deJarnette, J. C. Wardlaw, and A. J. Barwick.
was in 1905 that public sentiment in Albany
finally crystallized into a demand for a city
system of public schools, and in 1906 the
present system was established by special act of
the Legislature, and S. R. deJarnette was
elected first superintendent. Immediately after
this the present High School was erected by the
city and county. Even this splendid new
building afforded relief for but a few years.
It became imperative that new and more
commodious grammar schools be provided, and in
response to this need a beautiful grammar school
building was erected on the corner of Broad and
Madison streets, and less than a year later a
school identical with the Broad Street Grammar
School was built on Monroe Street, occupying the
southern half of the High School lot. These
buildings are of tapestry brick, two stories
with basement, each having ten class rooms, rest
room, office, two bicycle storage rooms, etc.,
and equipped with every modern device.
Albany’s school system was thoroughly efficient, its head
being R. E. Brooks, an educator of state-wide
prominence. He was ably assisted by the
Broad Street, Miss
Stella Kalmon; Monroe Street, Miss Annie Mock;
Flint Street, Miss Minnie Pate;
Mulberry Street, Mrs. J. O.
Perry; Girls High School, Miss Mary
L. Brosnan; Boys High School, Mr. H. M. Mills,
all of whom proved their worth and
efficiency by years of faithful service.
1919 the old Albany Academy building was
rebuilt and is now known as the Flint Street
Grammar School. The newest school building
is the Mulberry Street School, in East
Albany, for East Albany children of the first to
fourth grades, inconclusive.
superintendent of County Schools is S. R.
deJarnette, who has been connected with the
school life at Albany for the last twenty-five
years, having served a long time as city
Superintendent of Schools."
time, was any previous high school named Albany
And so the conclusion is, from the history
High School Buildings
of Monroe and Society
1916 - 1925
complete history of all AHS buildings on "Home
other mention - the article shows a Girls High
School and a Boys High School. My understanding has always been that they were
both in the same school on N. Monroe which was
two stories high. The boys were located on
one floor and the girls were located on the
other floor! Hope this helps with your
~ MaryAnn Caldbeck (63) Allen
No where in the quoted history book does it
as a high school - it DOES mention primary
grades - so one concludes that the
was like many early small town schools ...it
In 1919 the old Albany Academy building was
rebuilt and is now known as the Flint Street
Also, some of the information on Wikipedia is
the historical information which appeared on the
Albany High Times Home Page regarding the
FIRST Albany High School will NOT have
to be updated
... it was correct all along!
... and what
is YOUR conclusion?
Albany High School
Through the Years
First Dedicated 4 year AHS
1916 - 1925
Corner of Monroe and Society
1926 - 1954
Fall of 1954 -
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