FENTON NORMAL SCHOOL 1861

RIDLEY HALL for girls was built in 1875 on one and one-half acres of land on Thurber Street, between First and Second Streets. It was an Episcopal institution. The school was short lived, but in 1884, another school of higher learning, known as the FENTON NORMAL SCHOOL occupied the building. The structure was demolished in the late 1920's.

The first school house was built in 1838, just four years after the founding of Fentonville, and was located on the southwest corner of Rockwell and Park streets. The building was a wooden structure and the first teacher was Mr. Nottingham.

While not part of the public schools of Fenton, it is interesting to note that during the 1870's, there were three institutions of higher learning located in the Village.

These were:
THE FENTON SEMINARY was built in 1869. It was four stories high and made of field stone. David Latourette, a local banker and businessman donated the site and a large part of the construction costs. This was a Baptist institution and a branch of Kalamazoo College. The original building still stands at the corner of High Street and State Road. Mr. Wedge was the first principal.





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