Academy restoration nears an end

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Contributing Writer

After much work and deliberation, “Ye Olde Academy,” or Pantego High School, has been restored, although some work remains to be done.
Official information on the website for The Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association notes a July 2005 article in the Daily News that suggested the building might be sold or destroyed. However, interested people asked permission from the board of directors of the alumni association to begin cleaning the academy building. At the same time, beginning with the August 2005 meeting, a reorganization of the alumni association occurred. On Feb. 25, 2007, the alumni association became known as the Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association Inc. The academy building is owned by the association.
Martha Baynor is the treasurer for the Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association. She has been associated with the academy for three years.
She explained some of the latest changes.
“We finished painting and repair of the outside of the building this past year. The contractor we hired, Cornelius Construction Inc., worked on it over a year. He did the work for about one half of what it was worth. He took on the ‘Old Lady’ with love.”
The group had a Christmas open house on the last Sunday in November. Other events on the horizon include a quilt show in March, an April tea and some class reunions in May.
The group has 135 members who pay dues. The dues increased from $15 to $20 for individuals and to $30 for families because of expenses. The association meets the third Monday night of each month.
A group of residents, realizing the need for education in the Pantego area, formed the Pantego Educational Association in 1874 and began raising money for the construction of the academy building. It is thought the Pantego Male and Female Academy was one of the first schools in North Carolina to offer education to females and males together. The Pantego Male and Female Academy ceased to exist in the spring of 1907 when the building was purchased by the Beaufort County Board of Education and became a public school. It then became known as Pantego High School and opened as a free public school for grades 1-11 in the fall of 1907, using the academy building as its location.