(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
By 1900, the private Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and its associated " free town high school," Dickinson High School, were in serious economic and institutional trouble. Finances were shaky and the board put its own welfare before that of the school's. For example, although the board refused to buy fire insurance, it voted itself increasing salaries for a job that was often done for free. The school itself was in poor physical shape, with patches of plaster missing from the walls and water stains from the poorly maintained roof. One agent for the Massachusetts Board of Education noted that the school "can not be called a fair equivalent for a high school," so some Deerfield families began sending their children to the high school in neighboring Greenfield, Massachusetts. The turmoil in the school district noted in this Greenfield Gazette and Courier article came in the context of these events.