Brick Academy

Brick Academy is the nickname for a Federal-style brick building built in 1809 to meet the growing needs of the Basking Ridge Classical School located in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. That school existed prior to 1799, at least 10 years before the construction of this building in 1809. The brick building was constructed for the elementary school run by local Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Robert Finley. This was about halfway through Rev. Finley's time at Basking Ridge. During the time he ran the school, attendance grew from fewer than 12 to an average near 25 students, and sometimes as high as 40 students. Students came from near & far, mostly from prominent families. The school was a high end preparatory school for boys who generally continued on to the College of New Jersey, later (in 1896), known as Princeton University. In 1817, Rev. Finley quit Basking Ridge to briefly become president of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. By 1828, the "Brick Academy" corporation was formed and the building continued use as a private, then public school in 1853, before being used for other purposes.

The nickname "Brick Academy" is often misused to include students who actually attended the "Basking Ridge Classical School" (prior to 1828). It is also used inappropriately to include students at that school prior to the construction of the brick building, later known as "the Brick Academy". Samuel Southard is frequently cited as having attended the "Brick Academy" in Basking Ridge, however he graduated Princeton in 1804 - fully 5 years prior to the construction of the brick building later known as the Brick Academy.

After many years of service as a private boy's school, the Brick Academy later served as a public school, and then as a meeting hall for several fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. (See timeline below.) In 1976 the Township leased the Brick Academy to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills which uses the historic building for its headquarters and public meetings, and operates a museum, one room schoolhouse for local history, and research room. That organization offers an online virtual tour of the Brick Academy.

Read more about Brick Academy:  National Register of Historic Places, Notable Students, Timeline

Famous quotes containing the words brick and/or academy:

    Follow the yellow brick road.
    E.Y. Harburg (1898–1981)

    ...I have come to make distinctions between what I call the academy and literature, the moral equivalents of church and God. The academy may lie, but literature tries to tell the truth.
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949)