Exeter, NH Phillips Exeter Academy Fire, Jul 1914


Fire Ruins Interior of Main Building of Famous New Hampshire Prep. School

Exeter, N. H., July 3.--An investigation has failed to determine the cause of the fire that ruined the interior of the main building of Phillips Exeter academy, early today. The loss is estimated at $100,000.

Priceless portraits of the founder, instructors, eminent graduates and benefactors and numerous trophies and gifts of former classes were lost in the fire.

The school is closed for the summer and all of the officials were away. The building was beyond hope of saving when the firemen reached the scene, but they saved the gymnasium, physical laboratory and Abbott and Alumni halls close by. Only the walls of the main academy building were left standing and the furnishings and decorations of the famous old structure are a total loss.

Among the portraits destroyed besides that of John Phillips, the founder, were those of Daniel Webster, Edward Everett, Lewis Cass, Jared Stark, George Bancroft and John A. Dix. the war governor of New York. A bust of General Benjamin F. Butler was also lost.

The halls and classrooms were decorated with photographs and casts collected by William E. Merrill, 87, and presented by alumni.

The building was situated on Front street, about 150 feet back from the road and about the same distance from Academy street in the center of the academy campus.

The academy building was erected in 1872 by the alumni and friends of the school after the original building had been destroyed by fire in 1870.

It was a brick structure of two stories with a pointed roof, and three years ago a substantial addition was made to it.

On the first floor were six class rooms, and a large examination room. On the second floor were the chapel, five class rooms and the Christian Fraternity room.

Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, Fitchburg, MA 3 July 1914