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Franklin Academy 1818-1896

Franklin Academy

Franklin Academy was a private college preparatory school which stood at the brow of the hill on the west side of Central Avenue between Waldron Street and Orchard Street.

The building was built in 1818. It was two stories high and made of red brick with a bell tower up over the front door which faced the Avenue. It was the first public building in Dover built of brick. The dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, December 5, 1818 and two days later, on Monday, the first term started

.When the building was first built, there were beautiful lawns in front of the building, running down to Central Avenue and on the North side going to the river since Waldron Street had not been built at that time.

 It is claimed that the bell was a gift of Captain William Flagg of Dover who was in command of a "Privateer" ship during the war of 1812 and he had taken the bell form a merchant ship which he captured. Captain Flagg, who built the beautiful home now known as the Tidewater Farm on the Cochecho near the Salmon Falls River was one of the original trustees of the school.

The school operated until 1896 and at the time of its closing was completely surrounded by homes and factories.

The largest enrollment at the school was approximately 100 students in 1881.

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