Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A New Historical Marker at Pinkerton Academy, Derry, New Hampshire


Incorporated in 1814, Pinkerton Academy is the
state's largest independent high school and is
one of the oldest. Since its founding "for the
purpose of promoting piety and virtue and for
the Education of Youth." notable faculty and
alumni include: poet and Pinkerton teacher 
Robert Frost (1906 - 11); Alan Shepard (1940), the 
first American in space: Brian Thacker (1963), 
who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions
in the Vietnam War; and Tricia Dunn (1992),
who won a gold medal for ice hockey at the 1998
Winter Olympics.                      

Southwest of this marker stands Pinkerton Academy's
first schoolhouse.  It was built in 1815 through
efforts of trustees John Porter and brothers John
and James Pinkerton.  The building opened its doors
on December 4, 1815 and by June 1816, Pinkerton's
enrollment consisted of 44 boys and 27 girls from
N.H. and surrounding states.  Moved from its
original site in 1886, the Old Academy Building
survives as Pinkerton's only original structure.
It has served many functions, such as the home
of the Alumni Association and the school's archives.

A new New Hampshire state highway historical marker was unveiled at Pinkerton Academy late last year, but due to the pandemic we just visited this sign recently and took photos.  The marker is located on Bypass Route 28 (19 North Main Street) in Derry, next to the Stearns building and the access road for the athletic fields, across from Pinkerton Academy Drive. Set your GPS for N 42 degrees 53' 745" and W 71 degrees 18' 866"  

There was a dedication ceremony for the new marker last December with Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Timothy Powers, State Senator Regina Birdsell, trustee Mark Laliberte, and Derry Historical Museum staff member Mark Mastromario from the class of 1979 Pinkerton Academy. The ceremony was carried by local media. 

This new historic marker is number 266.  You can see a complete list of all the New Hampshire historical highway markers at the website for the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources (see below).  There are a total of four historical markers in Derry:  #48 for General John Stark on Route 28, #58 for the Scotch Irish Settlement (in front of the First Parish Church on East Derry Road),  and #126 for Robert Frost's farm (on Route 28).  

This is a two sided historical marker!  I don't know if this is new or not, but I'm going to start checking other local historical markers to see if they have more information on the reverse!  What have I been missing?!

The little red convertible 
exploring Derry, New Hampshire

For the truly curious:

Julie Huss, "History Unveiled at Pinkerton Academy", Eagle Tribune newspaper, 7 December 2020, article accessed online 28 April 2021: https://www.eagletribune.com/news/new_hampshire/history-unveiled-at-pinkerton-academy/article_a81e9df2-1bd6-55af-83c1-281e1872a72d.html    

The website for the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources:   https://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/   

Pinkerton Academy website:  https://www.pinkertonacademy.org/  

Another Nutfield genealogy blog post about Pinkerton Academy: 


and the genealogy of John Pinkerton, one of the founders:



To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A New Historical Marker at Pinkerton Academy, Derry, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 18, 2021, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/05/a-new-historical-marker-at-pinkerton.html: accessed [access date]). 

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