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Seattle's first school, a tuition (private) school, begins instruction in 1854. Essay 3239 : Printer-Friendly Format

In 1854, Seattle's first school, which is a tuition or "select" school, opens its doors in a house at the corner of Front Street (1st Avenue) and Madison Street. The teacher is Catharine Paine Blaine (1829-1908), who had arrived with her husband in 1853.

The first students at Catharine Blaine's school were:

  • Susie and Eliza Mercer
  • Laura, Virginia, and Olive Bell
  • Ursula and George McConaha
  • Hulda Phillips
  • William Smith
  • Becky Horton
  • Robie Willard
  • Kate and Nora Denny

    Later this school moved to Bachelor's Hall, a single man's boarding house on 1st Avenue between Columbia and Cherry streets. The school continued to operate as a private school until November 1861, when students were sent to classes in the new building of the Territorial University. The first year of the Territorial University, there were 37 students, of which 36 were below college level.

  • Sources:
    Patricia C. Erigero, Seattle Public Schools: Historic Building Survey (Seattle: Seattle Public Schools and Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority, 1989), 1; Clarence B. Bagley, History of King County (Chicago-Seattle: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929).

    Travel through time (chronological order):
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    Related Topics: Education | Firsts |

    Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

    Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

    This essay made possible by:
    The SCHOONER Project:
    The Hon. Jan Drago
    Seattle City Council
    Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

    Catharine Paine Blaine (1829-1908), 1856
    Courtesy A.A. Denny, Pioneer Days on Puget Sound

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