New London Academy

1750’s – New London Church (Established Church of England) built by pioneers on land from Col. William Callaway’s 900-acre land grand from King George III; this building and the land on which it stood were later part of New London Academy. As of 1950, only a depression in the ground.

1795 – New London Academy charter granted by General Assembly of Virginia creating a classical private school for boys; Robert Alexander (10 acres) and Nathan Reid (7.5 acres) donate land adjoining the New London Church for the Academy.

1796 – Trustees granted authority to raise 10,000 pounds by one of three lotteries to raise funds for New London Academy

1799 – John Callaway deeded one acre of land on which stood the old Episcopal church to the New London Academy Trustees.

1799, April 15 – Date of Deed by which Robert Alexander donated 10 acres of land to the trustees of the New London Academy, to revert back to his estate when it ceased to be used for school purposes.

1803, October 1Virginia Gazette carried advertisement for New London Academy (Thompson, p. 31).

1815 – Both Episcopalians and Presbyterians donated funds to raise a new brick “Meeting House” at New London Academy (New London Church). Led by Mr. Henry Brown, president of the New London Academy Board of Trustees.

1820 – Salem Turnpike first macadamized with flint rock. Salem Turnpike cut off a 20-foot strip of New London Academy land donated by Alexander and Reid. Also cut off a 20-foot strip in front of New London Church, bringing the church much closer to the road. (or are these the same thing?)

1827 – Reid and Alexander lands donated to New London Academy surveyed by Alexander Austin.

1837 – New London Academy Board of Trustees decided to replace the frame school building with a brick pavilion.

1839 – New London Academy brick building finished.

1849 – New London Academy received an endowment from Harrison Chilton.

1867 – Steward’s house at New London Academy burned.

1870 – Virginia’s new constitution approved (with provision for public schools as required by federal government).

1871 – June, New London Academy Trustees attempted to open the Academy as a free (public) school, but the effort failed.

1872-1873 – Steward’s house at New London Academy rebuilt.

1876 – McGuffey’s Readers adopted by the New London Academy Board of Trustees.

1879 – Bessie Rawlings, first female student admitted to New London Academy.

1880 – As early as 1880, Mrs. Woodson taught coeducational classes for young children in the New London Academy Steward’s House (Evans Hall); older girls also attended.

1884 – New London Academy leased to the superintendents of Bedford and Campbell counties for the benefit of white pupils (public school); Chilton estate money used by Board of Managers to buy (back) the old Masonic building across the street for use as a school building; two rooms added to the Steward’s house with money from the Chilton legacy.

1885, July 4 – Date on Deed of Prudence (Masonic) Lodge and half acre of land to forever be the property of New London Academy.

1887, May 10 – State Law passed codifying the shared responsibility for New London Academy by Bedford and Campbell counties.

1910 – Act by General Assembly turned over the New London Academy and the Chilton endowment fund to Bedford and Campbell counties and located the Agricultural High School for the Sixth Congressional District at the New London Academy. Chilton funds used to add new buildings – Large concrete school building, frame dormitory for girls, wooden annex added to old brick building for boys.

1938 – B. J. Read, M.D., and the Academy School Board exchange land by a 99-year lease. Read’s land became part of a ball diamond back of the Academy Church and the Academy’s land across the road (Old Salem Turnpike) bordering Read’s land became for his use.

1944, May 26 – New London Academy had pure freestone water piped by electric pump from the old spring at Liberty Hall.

1950 – New London Church building (at the Academy) only a depression in the ground.

1964 – The high school at New London Academy closed. It currently functions as an elementary school.