Friday, February 6, 2009

A Famous American Mason (and Dummer Academy Alumnus): Rufus King

Recently, The Governor’s Academy and one of its famous graduates, Rufus King, were featured in the Winter 2008 issue of Trowel, magazine of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. Accompanying the magazine article is an excerpt describing the academy and some of its notable graduates:

“Situated on a bucolic setting in Newbury’s Byfield parish is a red two-room schoolhouse built to house a free grammar school, the first boarding school in America, as envisioned and endowed by William Dummer who served as the Provincial Governor of Massachusetts from 1722 to 1728. Opening with 28 students in 1763 on the 300-acre farm of the former governor, the school was named 'Governor Dummer Academy' until 2005, when its name was changed to 'The Governor’s Academy.' Four years after the school opened, Rufus King journeyed from Scarborough, District of Maine, to attend the school. Signing the school’s 'document of incorporation' were Governor John Hancock and Senate President Samuel Adams, and some of the school’s early records were maintained by future president John Quincy Adams while he clerked for Theophilus Parsons, later Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, who was also a GDA graduate. The original school seal was designed by American patriot and Massachusetts Grand Master Paul Revere. The school continues as an institution of academic excellence, helping students pursue their personal greatness, just like Freemasonry.”

The Winter 2008 issue of Trowel was kindly donated to The Governor’s Academy Archives by Bruce Rogers, long-time employee of the academy’s Building and Grounds department, so our thanks go out to Bruce!