The Eliot Academy
When Eliot was incorporated as a town in 1810, there were six school districts. The teachers were all men for no female teachers were hired before 1840.
In the year 1839, Eliot became conscious of a lack of higher educational privilege. They wanted an institution where their children could be properly prepared for college. It was during this year of 1839 that 50 citizens of the town called a meeting to take decisive action upon the matter. They formed themselves into shareholders and decided immediately to begin the erection of a school building.
Mr. Joseph Fogg sold the land to the shareholders and the operation was underway by the building committee. The building was completed in 1840. The shareholders formed themselves into, “The Eliot Academy Association”. The academy was incorporated Feb. 25, 1840 and on April 13, the act was accepted by the proprietors.
The first floor was for the school, the second floor was used for social functions, religious meetings, balls, court of law, school exhibitions and political occasions. A town meeting was held here in 1839.
The Academy burned down on December 21, 1875.
A plaque was installed in a cement form on the front lawn of State Road denoting the site of the Academy, when it was erected, the date it burned (Dec. 21, 1875), and words saying:
“Here was opened the first Normal School in Maine”
In the year 1995, the plaque became loose from wood rot that held the screws into the form that supported the plaque. Mr. Pete Staples and Mr. Don Shaw saw this problem and replaced the cement form and set the plaque back in its proper place in June of that year.