Oak Ridge Seminary

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For Gettysburg's 1814 boys' boarding school that was sold in 1829, see Gettysburg Academy. For the eponym of Seminary Ridge, see [[Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg]].
Oak Ridge Seminary
1858 Oakridge Select Academy.png
"Oakridge Select Academy" in 1858, which was "Miss Carrie Sheads' School during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The differing "Sheads House" at 331 Buford Av was claimed in 1988 to have been the 19th century school building.[1]
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Nearest town Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Oak Ridge Seminary[2] (Oak Ridge Female Seminary,[3] Oak-Ridge Academy[4]) was an antebellum school for "young ladies" west of the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. One of 2 girls schools used as an American Civil War hospital[5] for Battle of Gettysburg casualties, the female seminary had also been used as a prison,[6] and General Lee's "Headquarters and tents [were] pitched in the space adjoining Oak Ridge Seminary"[2] (a field was "on the east side of Miss Carrie Sheads' School".)[7]


The 1st school in the area that would become Gettysburg was at the Mummasburg Road and Carlisle Street intersection[8] on the south side of Stevens Run[9] and by 1835, Gettysburg had 5 common schools.[10] Earlier girls' schools in the Gettysburg borough included one for which Deacon James H. Marsden "took charge"[11] after teacher applications were requested on June 23, 1829.[12] Marsden held classes "from Sept. 25th, 1829, to April 1st, 1830, in the room, later occupied by the late Judge Wills' law office" (the school was moved to a 1 story frame building on the Eagle Hotel lot.)[11]

"Building for a Female School"[13]
Miss Mary McClellan's "private school" in the borough[11] was located in a "small brick building on East High street" land[14] donated by Mary and Catherine Leckey[11] adjoining* the jail near Stratton Street[15] (the street had been "Jail street" in 1823.)[16] An 1830 meeting was held for the bidding contractors[11] and to elect trustees,[13] and incorporation[17] was on April 10, 1838, [sic] under the name Gettysburg Female Academy.[11] The Principal in 1840 was Henry W. Thorp; prices per session ranged from $5 (Junior Department, summer) to $11 (Senior Department, winter); and classes included "Latin; French; History, Ancient, Ecclesiastical, American, and English; Botany, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Geology, &c. &c."[18] The Gettysburg Female Seminary was incorporated on April 14, 1835;[11] in 1842 the "Winter Session" commenced on October 17,[19] and the 1852 teacher was Miss Darling (Samuel Simon Schmucker was president).[20] After the battle, "Miss Mary D. McClellan" resumed "the exercises of her School on the 10th of August",[21] and in 1883, the brick school on High Street was sold.[22]

By the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, Rebecca Eyster's Young Ladies Seminary was on the "corner of Washington and High streets" at the "Old Academy Building"[23] built 1813-5 for boys.

Oak Ridge[edit]

The Oakridge Seminary[2] was erected by Herman Haupt, later Professor of Mathematics and Engineering at Pennsylvania College (who had built an earlier structure for his residence** on Seminary Ridge.[4]) Located near[7] the 1815 Baltimore and Carlisle turnpike, and the 1838 Tapeworm Railroad bed, Haupt's Oakridge Select Academy was advertised in 1843 for "about 16 pupils",[24] and Rev. William Henry Harrison, D.D., taught there prior to licensure in 1845.[25] The school principal was Miss Carrie Sheads when Early's raids in Pennsylvania arrived at Gettysburg on June 26, 1863,[23] and Oak Ridge Academy was at the July 1 battle area which received Confederate cannon fire.[7] (a captured colonel returned to the school for his sword after escaping from Confederates during their retreat.[6])

External images
1843 sketch

Notes and references[edit]

*A reunion was photographed in 1915[26] for Miss Mary McClellan's "private school",[11] which had been near the site of the 1857 high school[27] building on 40 East High Street[28] which became the elementary school[26] when high school classes moved[29] to the borough's east side (1896[30] "Meade High School Building").[31]

The jail built for $3813.12 by 1804[32] burned in 1850[33] and the new 1850 1-story jail on East High Street had 13 cells in 1901[34] (the 1850 jail built for $10,000 became the library.)[32]

**The 1831[35] Shultz House at "4 West Confederate Avenue" was a differing "OAKRIDGE" property built as Herman Haupt's residence,[4] and sold by Haupt in 1852.[36] The Shultz family occupied the residence at the time of the battle (cf. Sheads and pupils at the Oakridge school), and the Shultz House was for sale in 1869[37]-70 by Cornelia A. Shultz (Executrix) "within the borough limits".[38] Marked with an 1896 Cast Iron Site ID Tablet by the War Department,[39] the Seminary Ridge home is on private property near the Gettysburg National Military Park and outside of the 1999 boundaries of the Gettysburg Battlefield District.[40] (a borough ordinance designated the Shultz House owned by Edwards in 1972 when "owned by the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary" as 1 of 38 protected historic structures.[35] The "Shultz Farm" owned by the Maclays was part of a 1976 tour of homes,[41] was denied permission for use as one of the American Youth Hostels in 1984[42] and is zoned for Bed and Breakfast operations.[43]


  1. ^ Kinneman, Pat and Larry (June 24, 1988), Oak Ridge Seminary For Girls (Google news archive), Gettysburg Times (newspaper memorial), retrieved 2013-10-28 
  2. ^ a b c Weireck, Vina C.--letter author (August 3, 1910). "Gen. Lee's Headquarters: More Yet as to the Location of the Same" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Compiler. Retrieved 2013-08-28. "Oakridge Seminary,” of which Miss Carrie Sheads was Principal … General Lee, and his Headquarters and tents pitched in the space adjoining Oak Ridge Seminary"  (bold font added to the two differing names in the 1910 news article)
  3. ^ "Col. Sheads Speaker For Lions Club" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Times. November 16, 1976. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  4. ^ a b c Annual Reunion…United States Military Academy association of Graduates. Retrieved 2013-08-28. "On completing his work on the York and Wrightsville Railway, Haupt built a residence near Gettysburg [and] a preparatory school [that] became a school for girls…Oak-Ridge Academy." 
  5. ^ "A Gettysburg Heroine: How a Boarding School Was Turned Into a Hospital, With Teacher and Girls as Nurses" (Google news archive). Reading Eagle. June 29, 1898. Retrieved 2013-08-28. "On the evening of June 30 Buford's army camped…about 200 yards from the [Oakridge] seminary. This naturally led to much excitement among the young women…" 
  6. ^ a b "Scenes of the Battle of Gettysburg: A Model School for Young Ladies" (Google news archive). The Adams Sentinel [reprinted from the National Republican]. December 8, 1863. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
    • quotes a letter by Miss Carrie Sheads: "When our forces retreated from Seminary Ridge, many of the prisoners were taken here. … A [Union] colonel rushed into the breakfast room and a rebel after him, demanding of him to surrender. [The colonel] told them to "shoot him" that "he would not surrender…" I begged the colonel to go with him and I would save his sword. He consented and I concealed the sword in the folds of my dress… [He returned] to reclaim his sword, having gone with them as far as Monterey Springs and escaped… You should have seen the pleasure which it gave those wounded patriots (for the room was filled with them) to see their colonel's sword safe."
    • paraphrases pupil Miss Amelia E. Harmon: "During the charge of Buford's cavalry, which commenced the battle, [the Harmon] house was forcibly occupied by the Federal sharpshooters…abandoning her burning home with her aunt". The Adams Sentinel article also claims the Harmon "buildings were erected by a brother-in-law of Stonewall Jackson, the Rev. Charles G. McClean" and that the Harmon House was one of "the best dwelling houses in the country, the ruins of which are visible…from the Seminary Ridge, about a mile west of Gettysburg".
  7. ^ a b c Skelly, Daniel Alexander (January 1, 1932-paperback reprint) [original year tbd]. A Boy's Experiences During The Battle of Gettysburg. "Old Tape Worm Railroad, but crossed from it over a field to the Chambersburg Pike on the east side of Miss Carrie Sheads' School … the Confederate line of battle had been formed on East and West Middle"  Check date values in: |date= (help) (partial transcript available at ThomasLegion.net, 1999 NPS.gov partial transcription by John Heiser[dead link] was available 2010-06-01.)
  8. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Chapter XXX: Cumberland Township". History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania: Part III, History of Adams County. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co. 1886. pp. 236–247. Retrieved 2012-03-25. "Thaddeus Stevens represented Gettysburg and Cumberland Township in the convention of November 4, 1834, and voted for adopting the common school system according to the act of April 1, 1834. On November 28, 1834, the school board of Gettysburg divided the borough into four school districts, and established one school for colored children. S. S. King was president, and Robert G. Harper secretary of the board. Common schools were opened January 5, 1835, in Thomas Menargh’s house, Mr. Schriener’s, Mr. McMillar’s and Mr. McClean’s; the colored school in Mrs. Keech’s house." 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Scott, John Reed (June 11, 1915). "Address at Reunion of Miss Mary McClellan's Pupils" (Google news archive). The Star and Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-08-28. "Among these first pupils were Anna M. Swan, Elizabeth Swan, Amelia C. Winrot, Margaret A. McLean and Mary Ann McLean, (daughters of Rev. Charles McLean), Elizabeth McPherson, Catherine McPherson, Matilda E Sowers, Caroline Harpoer,[verification needed] Martha Ann Harper, Eveline Macfarland and Eliza Jane Gourley." 
  12. ^ "Female School" (Google news archive). The Adams Sentinel. June 24, 1829. Retrieved 2013-10-28. "Gentleman, well qualified to instruct FEMALES… Applications made to J. B. McPherson, Cashier of the Bank of Gettysburg" 
  13. ^ a b "Notice" (Google news archive). The Adams Sentinel. November 16, 1830. Retrieved 2013-10-28. "Those persons who have subscribed towards the erection of a Building for a Female School, &c. in Gettysburg, are requested to meet at the Court house this evening, at 6 o'clock, for the purpose of electing Trustees, and adopting regulations for the government of the Institution."  (cited by Scott, 1915)
  14. ^ "All Ready for School Reunion" (Google news archive). Adams County News. May 22, 1915. Retrieved 2013-10-27. "small brick building on East High street" 
  15. ^ "Did Gettysburg Have A War Camp in 1812?" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Times. April 9, 1940. Retrieved 2013-08-30. "In 1830, adjoining the lot of ground occupied by the county jail on East High street, a female academy was established." 
  16. ^ "The Adams Centinel - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  17. ^ Beitel, Calvin Gustavus (1874). A Digest of Titles of Corporations Chartered by the Legislature … (Google Books). J. Campbell & son. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  18. ^ "The Adams Centinel - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  19. ^ "The Adams Centinel - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  20. ^ "SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: Gettysburg Female Seminary" (Google news archive). The Star and Sentinel. July 2, 1927. Retrieved 2013-10-27. "The trustees have succeeded in securing the services of a very competent teacher, Miss Darling…S. S. Schmucker, president. R. G. Harper, secretary. … ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Carriage without Horse--A very handsome and ingeniously contructed carriage with three wheels, was yesterday evening seen running along the Quays…(Dublin paper.)" 
  21. ^ "The Adams Centinel - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  22. ^ "The Star and Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  23. ^ a b ""Run home as quickly as you can," 66-68 West High St." (Google news archive). The Gettysburg Times. June 20, 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-30. "The students of Rebecca Eyster's Young Ladies Seminary were studying in this “Old Academy Building” on June 26, 1863. [On] the arrival of the Confederate troops from Seminary Ridge… Mrs. Eyster immediately called her students to the front porch to see…and told them, “Children, run home as quickly as you can.” … During the battle, the building was used as a hospital."  NOTE: The source for this quotation is Singmaster's book: "Young Ladies' Seminary on the corner of High and Washington Streets. … We were having our regular literary exercises on Friday afternoon, at our Seminary… standing on the front portico we beheld in the direction of the Theological Seminary, a dark, dense mass, moving toward town. Our teacher, Mrs. Eyster, at once said: "Children, run home as quickly as you can."
  24. ^ "Oakridge Select Academy" (Google news archive). The Adams Sentinel. March 6, 1843. Retrieved 2013-10-27. "The course of instruction includes English Grammar, Reading, Writing, Bookkeeping Composition Drawing Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Geology, Botany Menial and Moral Philosophy, Debates, Declamation, Church History, Ancient and Modern History and Geography. Lectures on Natural Science and Mechanic Arts, Surveying, Engineering, French, Latin, Greek, and German Languages. About 16 pupils are received as boarders. … H. HAUPT, Principal" 
  25. ^ Jensson, Jens Christian. American Lutheran Biographies (Google Books). Retrieved 2013-08-28. "…he taught several hours every week in the Oakridge Academy, a private school…under the control of Prof. Hermann Haupt. He completed his studies in the fall of 1845, and at once received from the Synod of Maryland, licensure to preach the gospel." 
  26. ^ a b Trostle, Kevin. "Evolving Tourist Town: 1880 to 1918". A Brief History of Gettysburg. Retrieved 2011-11-01. "Trostle Shirt Factory ...the white "Union School” building on E. High Street. ... Mrs. Salome Myers Stewart, former assistant principal at the “Union School” during 1863. ... Meade would serve as the high school until 1909." 
  27. ^ "Search Results". nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  28. ^ Google.maps (maps. Google.com). 40 East High Street (Map). https://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.828785,-77.22967&hl=en&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.77566,107.138672&t=h&z=16. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  29. ^ "Round About Town" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Compiler. June 1, 1904. Retrieved 2013-08-28. "It was first known as the Gettysburg Female Academy. For years Miss Mary McClellan taught a private school there. … A Handsome Granite Monument Now Marks the grave of old John Burns in the Evergreen Cemetery. … [For a Decoration Day speech] The President's train arrived at half past eight in the morning and was stopped west of town near Reynold's avenue…" 
  30. ^ "Gettysburg Compiler - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  31. ^ "Gettysburg Compiler - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  32. ^ a b "Found History of Adams County Really That Of United States In Miniature" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Times. January 21, 1975. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  33. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  34. ^ "Gettysburg, Her Past and Future" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. March 26, 1901. Retrieved 2013-11-01. "The jail, which is on East High street, is a handsome and substantial structure of stone and brick. It was erected in 1859 at an original cost of $10,000... It is a one-story building [with cells] 12 feet long by 6 feet wide" 
  35. ^ a b "List 38 More Properties In Historic Area" (Google News Archive). The Gettysburg Times. April 15, 1972. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  36. ^ "OakridgeatGettysburg". ebspace.webring.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  37. ^ "Gettysburg Compiler - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  38. ^ "Valuable Property at Private Sale: "OAKRIDGE"" (Google news archive). Gettysburg Compiler. July 8, 1870. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  39. ^ Cope, Emmor (1896), Shultz House – Cast Iron Site ID Tablet, (structure ID 43, LCS ID 081203) List of Classified Structures: GETT p. 8 (National Park Service), retrieved 2013-10-28, "Cast Iron Site ID Tablet is a contributing feature to the Gettysburg…Historic District which is nationally significant under NR Criteria A, B, C & D. … 1 of 35 Site ID Tablets by US War Dept. Post-Civil War devel. of battlefield contributing to the commemorative landscape. House was part of CS battle lines July 1–4, 1863, sacked & used for hospital purposes. The house is not owned by NPS. … 2, Painted raised letter and border inscription tablet, 2'9"x1'8". Mounted on fluted post, 3'3" high." 
  40. ^ "Gettysburg Battle District map". gettysburg-pa.gov. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  41. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  42. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  43. ^ "4 W. Confederate Avenue, Gettysburg, PA, 17325 - Economy/Limited Service Property on LoopNet.com". loopnet.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.