Albany Academy




Lessons in History!!!


TO BE OR NOT TO BE ...??? 



The Complete History of the


Albany High School 


After pictures surfaced claiming that a building on the corner of Flint and Madison was the first Albany High School, we began a research, since that did not match up with the history originally submitted to The Albany High Times.  So we went to the Indians and asked for help!


We received information from Mary Ann Caldbeck Allen ('63) and David Sherman ('61), two AHS Indians interested in Albany history, who sent scanned copies of pages taken from


~ compiled by members of

 Thronateeska Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution


Albany, Georgia


... and amongst those pages was the answer to the question!!!


Below are portions taken from 4 of the pages in this wonderful historical book, and all the information we needed to make our decision about THE FIRST ALBANY HIGH SCHOOL!!!  But we had to be careful ... some things were not completely clear!!!


Let's start at the beginning  ... the first written history of a school in Albany, GA.  That school was ...

Mrs. Anselm Sterne's Institute




"This institute was founded in the fall of 1877 by Mrs. Anselm Sterne, and had its humble beginning in the home of its founder, where for two years it was carried on.  But so rapidly did it grow that larger quarters were soon found to be necessary, and a commodious school building was erected in 1880.  Thus from a small institution with but few departments, it had developed into a complete one with every department at that time found in the well-established college, from the kindergarten up through the collegiate.  The school flourished, and many of Albany’s present most prominent matrons there received their diplomas, while scores of others received their preparation for college within its walls."


So was Mrs. Anselm Sterne's Institute the first Albany High School?


or was ....

The Albany Academy



"It was in 1885 that a movement which resulted in the building known as the Albany Academy was inaugurated.  Albany then was without a public school, the need of which was sorely felt.  Agitation of the matter was begun by the Albany News and Advertiser, then the only newspaper in Albany.  H. M. McIntosh was editor of the paper, which opened a campaign to raise $5,000, the sum considered necessary.  In a short time $3,500 was secured.  The City Council was then asked to appropriate the $1,500 still needed, and in obedience to public sentiment, favorable action was taken.  The project then passed into the hands of the municipal authorities, but the City Council appointed a commission, composed of L. E. Welch, Sr., T. M. Carter and H. M. McIntosh, to erect the building.


The lot on the northwest corner of Flint and Madison streets was purchased from the late Col. Nelson Tift, who had subscribed liberally to the school fund, and who sold the school lot for a good deal less than its market value.


The new school was named, “The Albany Academy.”  It opened for the fall term in 1886 with G. J. Orr as Principal, S. P. Orr assistant principal and Miss Belle Bacon teacher of the primary grade.  The building was two stories in height, but none of the second floor was utilized.


About two years after the Academy was opened, it was destroyed by fire, the origin of which was and still is a mystery.  It was rebuilt as quickly as possible, the Court House – the old red brick Court House which went the way of other land-marks not many years later – being utilized for school purposes while rebuilding was in progress.


Many brick from the walls of the first building went into those of the second, which was architecturally an almost exact duplication of its predecessor.  In a few years the local public school system outgrew the Academy.  The rooms on the second floor were all utilized and an addition was built.  It sufficed but a few years.  Then another addition was built. Finally a one-story annex with two rooms for the primary grade was erected east of the main building - but always until the High School was built in 1908, the Academy was crowded.


The principals of the Albany Academy prior to the establishment of the city system of schools were G. J. Orr, Dion C. Sullivan, Z. I. Fitzpatrick, H. W. Jones, E. G. Jones, S. R. deJarnette, J. C. Wardlaw, and A. J. Barwick.


It was in 1905 that public sentiment in Albany finally crystallized into a demand for a city system of public schools, and in 1906 the present system was established by special act of the Legislature, and S. R. deJarnette was elected first super­intendent. Immediately after this the present High School was erected by the city and county.  Even this splendid new building afforded relief for but a few years.  It became imperative that new and more commodious grammar schools be provided, and in response to this need a beautiful grammar school building was erected on the corner of Broad and Madison streets, and less than a year later a school identical with the Broad Street Grammar School was built on Monroe Street, occupying the southern half of the High School lot. These buildings are of tapestry brick, two stories with basement, each having ten class rooms, rest room, office, two bicycle storage rooms, etc., and equipped with every modern device.


Albany’s school system was thoroughly efficient, its head being R. E. Brooks, an educator of state-wide prominence.  He was ably assisted by the following principalsBroad Street, Miss Stella Kalmon; Monroe Street, Miss Annie Mock; Flint Street, Miss Minnie Pate; Mulberry Street, Mrs. J. O. Perry; Girls High School, Miss Mary L. Brosnan; Boys High School, Mr. H. M. Mills, all of whom proved their worth and efficiency by years of faithful service.


In 1919 the old Albany Academy building was rebuilt and is now known as the Flint Street Grammar School. The newest school building is the Mulberry Street School, in East Albany, for East Albany children of the first to fourth grades, inconclusive.


The present superintendent of County Schools is S. R. deJarnette, who has been connected with the school life at Albany for the last twenty-five years, having served a long time as city Superintendent of Schools." 


At no time, was any previous high school named Albany High School


And so the conclusion is, from the history written ...


The First of Three

Albany High School Buildings

North corner of Monroe and Society


1916 - 1925

See complete history of all AHS buildings on "Home Page" at


Concluding Notes:


**  One other mention - the article shows a Girls High School and a Boys High School.  My understanding has always been that they were both in the same school on N. Monroe which was two stories high.  The boys were located on one floor and the girls were located on the other floor!  Hope this helps with your history. 


~ MaryAnn Caldbeck (63) Allen


** No where in the quoted history book does it mention Albany Academy as a high school - it DOES mention primary grades - so one concludes that the Albany Academy was like many early small town schools  apparently housed ALL GRADES!


** In 1919 the old  Albany Academy building was rebuilt and is now known as the Flint Street Grammar School.


** Also, some of the information on Wikipedia is incorrect:,_Georgia)


**And so the historical information which appeared on the Albany High Times Home Page regarding the FIRST Albany High School will NOT have to be updated ... it was correct all along!


... and what is YOUR conclusion?

Albany High School  .... Through the Years

First Dedicated 4 year AHS

1916 - 1925

North Corner of Monroe and Society

Second Building

1926 - 1954

North Jefferson Street

Present Building

Fall of 1954 - 2017

Residence Avenue




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