Established Spring 1892       Abolished 1911


Class of 1892

Carolyn Anderson, Nellie Chase, Helen Clark,

Mabel French, Juliet Hayden,

 Grace Lewis, Sophie Wile, Gertie Ashton,

Caroline Tegg

Class of 1893

Catharine Angell, Esther Copeland, Mildred Hendricks, Alice Carr,

Emma Ellwanger, Florence Montgomery,

Mabel Moser, Marion Pike,

Louise Sprague, Mabel Taylor, Grace Williams

Class of 1894

Irene Janes, Edith Milligan, Carrie Stone, Jessie Otis

Built in 1873. It was the only public high school in Rochester until the opening of East High School in 1903. The Academy was built on the site of the first schoolhouse (built 1813) in the area. 13 South Fitzhugh Street, Downtown Rochester.

When  Meredith Kaye-Tierney and Diana Franzini visited Brockport, they were able to go into this beautiful building which had been turned into offices. It was for rent and was closed up with no electric. However, we were able to get in with Jessica Hutchison Yeates and Jennifer Smith Matejick and walk the halls and get a feel for what it might have been like. The original nurses office door was there as well as some stained glass. The building was in desperate need of rehabilitation. Luckily in 2013, The Landmark Society of Western New York began this project combining commercial and residential space. Today it is ready to show in all it's splendor.

The Architecture of the Academy Building - originally the Rochester Free Academy - built in 1872-73 - Andrew Jackson Warner was the architect - The contractor was W. Gorsline - High Gothic Victorian - Gothic Revival style - Architectural details include • elaborate windows and arches • floral-incised panels • delicately carved colonnettes.
Source :


Source: Rochester Public Library Local History Division

A group portrait of the class of 1893 of the Rochester Free Academy.

Rochester Free Academy Class of 1893

Photo discovered in the Rochester Public Library Local History Division

Free Academy to East & West High School

Free Academy to East & West High School

The Rochester Free Academy was the forerunner of Rochester's public high school system.  The Beta Chapter of Arethusa formed in 1892 at the Academy. In 1899, The Free Academy’s name was officially changed to Rochester High School.  To satisfy the increasing need for space and classrooms, the city of Rochester agreed to build two new high schools.  East High School which opened April of 1903 and West High School which opened in 1905.  Not only did the students move to the new buildings but the Beta Chapter as well.  The chapter was not divided but allowed membership to consist of students from both high schools.

In 1911 the Rochester Board of Education abolished all fraternities and the sororities in the high schools.  They also abolished football.

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