Pantego Male & Female Academy
46 Academy Street
Pantego NC 27860
The Association has monthly membership meetings on the third Monday night at 7pm in the museum. May God keep blessing this Association.
On the National Registry!
On the National
Board of Directors:
Billy Baynor, President
John Ratcliff, Vice President
Sylvia Coltrain, Secretary
Martha Baynor, Treasurer
William R. Baynor - 252-943-2034 or email - email@example.com
John Ratcliff - email - firstname.lastname@example.org
For information or to reserve the Ye Olde Academy Building, please call or email
This museum is located in a building that is 136 years old and is one of the oldest existing school buildings in eastern North Carolina. It began as the location of the Pantego Male & Female Academy and later became Pantego High School in 1907. When a new high school building was erected in 1925, the Academy building was used as the elementary school. In later years, it served as the lunchroom for the high school and after that, as an auxiliary classroom building for the local community college. It is now being preserved and used as a museum. The building is a county landmark and a treasure to all that love the "Ye Olde Academy".
At the close of the Reconstruction Era a group of Pantego area citizens, realizing the need for education in the Pantego area, formed the Pantego Educational Association in 1874 and began raising the money necessary for the construction of the Academy building. On November 10, 1877, the Pantego Educational Association received a deed for one acre of land on which the Academy was erected. This two-story structure, which is the same as the back portion of the present Academy building, served as the educational institution for older children, age twelve through nineteen, both male and female, and was named Pantego Male and Female Academy. It is thought the Pantego Male and Female Academy was one of the first schools in North Carolina to offer education to females and males together.
The new Academy was a 'subscription school' providing tuition for per-course fees. There were twenty-seven paid tuitions the first semester. From 1877 through 1886, the Academy was reeasonably solvent. In 1879 a group of young ladies raised enough money to purchase a bell and the principal was authorized to obtain one weighing one hundred pounds. The belfry was built in 1902.
From 1887 until 1900 the history of the school is almost unknown. By the latter part of 1900, continuity of school operations had regressed to the extent that people realized there was a need to restore the Academy to its former educational prestige. Heroic efforts by outside sources saved the school.
Until 1907, the Academy building had been owned by individuals; later that year it was purchased by the county. Passage of a school district bond in 1910 provided funding to add the front wings, columned portico, and the signature exterior rounded staircase.
The Pantego Male and Female Academy ceased to exist in the spring of 1907 when the buildingwas purchased by the Beaufort County Board of Education and became a public school. It then became known as Pantego High School and opened as a free public school for grades 1-11 in the fall of 1907, using the Academy building as its location.
The first graduating class of Pantego high School was in 1911. Four students graduated. This was the first of fourteen Pantego High School graduating classes that were housed in the Academy building (1911-1925). In 1925, a new two-story brick building to house high school age students was constructed. The new building was located adjacent and to the left of the Academy building. As a result, the Academy building was then used for elementary students and was known as the elementary school.
Around 1927, a wing was added to the back of the two-story brick high school building and elementary age children began having classes in this part. Since the Academy building was no longer being used specifically for educational classes, various other uses began at this time. Around 1944, the ground floor of the Academy building was remodeled inside and became the lunchroom for Pantego High School. It continued in this use until 1964 when a new single-level brick "cafeteria" was constructed and located between the Academy building and the brick Pantego High School building.
In 1966, the Academy building was given to the Pantego High School Alumni Association, Inc. by the Beaufort County Board of Education.
In the 1980's, a group of citizens became interested in saving the vandalized Academy building. As a result, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Their dedicated efforts saved the building but time and age took its toll on this group.
Beaufort County Community College used the building from 1989-1992 as an auxiliary classroom. By the year of 2000, the Academy building had been unoccupied and not used for several years.
In June 2004, a meeting was called for the purpose of deciding what to do with money that had been left by a benefactor specifically for the preservation of the Academy building. Subsequent meetings were held but definitive action could not be taken because of the restrictions of the by-laws of the Pantego High School Alumni Association, Inc.
In July 2005, an article in the Washington Daily News suggested that the Academy building might be sold or destroyed. Interested people asked permission from the Board of Directors of the alumni association to begin cleaning the Academy building. In August, September and October 2005, a massive clean-up project of the neglected building began. At the same time, and beginning with the August 2005 meeting, a re-organization of the alumni association occurred and on February 25, 2007, the alumni association became known as the Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association, Inc. the Academy building is now owned by the museum association.
The Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. The stated purposes of the association according to its by-laws are the preservation of the original Pantego Academy building; collecting and preserving Pantego High School memorabilia; extablishing a Pantego area historical museum; and assisting in local preservation.
A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina
By Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern
UNC Press, 1996:
"The small farming and milling community on Pantego Creek was settled by the early 19th century with a post office at the site as early as 1828. It retains a good collection of late 19th and early 20th c. houses and public buildings. The chief landmark is Pantego Academy (1875, early 20th c.; 46 Academy Street, just N of US 264), an important regional institution founded as a private school. The original 2-story frame building was enlarged in the early 20th c. to its present 9-bay, hip-roof form with a 2-story ell, one of the state's largest and best-preserved wooden school buildings of the period. Sheltered by the 2-story porch of slender columns is a striking double stair of wishbone form with solid balustrade rising to a second-story entrance. The academy became part of the public school system in 1907, and a 2-story brick school was built next door about 1931. The older building is preserved by an alumni association."
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