Photo courtesy of Larry Oberly.

In this column, Mr. Larry Oberly and this writer are enrolling in the Weaversville Academy on Weaversville Road, East Allen Township. The year is 1858. I hope we are accepted!

This rare 1858 academy catalog was a copy from Amanda Weaver. Michael and Samuel Weaver were two of the founders of the academy. Samuel was Amanda’s father.

Ms. Susan Jenkins Weaver, family researcher, graciously has shared this information with our readers. The land for the school was donated by the Weaver family.

Following is a list of the courses offered at the academy. Compare the courses with your high school curriculum.

Primary departments offered geography, arithmetic, reading and spelling and defining.

Then there was higher English, higher arithmetic, U.S. history, transportation and parsing (This means to break a sentence into parts of speech; grammatical description of a word. Do they teach this today in our high schools?), logic, rhetoric, moral philosophy, mental philosophy, bookkeeping, reading, natural science, natural philosophy, science of common things, astronomy, botany, geology, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and surveying.

Languages included Latin (Virgil, Livy, Sallust, Caesers commentaries), Greek (grammar, Xenophon’s Anabasis) and French (Vie de George Washington, Telemaque, Corrianne).

“The academic year is divided into four quarters of 11 weeks. It will be greatly to the advantage of those who design to enter to be present at the opening quarter. First quarter begins Aug. 9 and ends Oct. 22. Fourth quarter begins April 11 and ends June 29,” according to the catalog.

Regarding expenses, the catalog said, “For board and tuition in all the English branches, fuel and lights, $37.50 per quarter of eleven weeks, payable in advance. Weekly boarders will be taken at $30 per quarter in tuition in the English branches. Those for the time they are present, enjoy all the privileges of the constant boarders.”

Rates for day scholars included $3 per quarter for primary department learning, common English was $4.50, high English with Latin was $5, and high English with Latin and Greek was $10.

Each pupil was charged 25 cents per quarter for incidental expenses, fuel, etc.

Extra charges included lessons on pianoforte, $8 per quarter; use of instrument, $2; monochromatic drawing, $5; pastel painting, $5; ornamental needlework, $2; vocal music at one lesson per week, $1; leather work, $5; French oral lessons, $5; and washing, 36 cents per dozen.

Students furnished towels and napkins for their own use, and every article of clothing was to be distinctly marked with the owner’s name.

We hope you made your course selections.

We will be back at the academy in two weeks to check student enrollment.


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