Memory of Brantview

The Academy faculty, staff, and alumni quoted here all had a relationship to Brantview Dorm during their years at the Academy.


I attended the Academy after my local high school had problems of overcrowding and the education system wasn’t as strong as it once was. When I first saw Brantview I was happy to see that I was going to be living in a Victorian style mansion and not just some block style dorm housing. Living with a group of strangers, and following a list of rules set by people other than my parents was an entirely different experience for me.

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"The Spring 2013 Hilltopper was wonderful. I read every word and looked at all the photos. I was dismayed by all the coverage of boys…and then (realized) of course—it's a boys' dorm. When I lived there it was a girls' dorm and the boys were in Fairbanks Cottage. Thanks for a great issue."

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It was with more than a little interest that I read your piece about Brantview, one of my favorite architectural structures. I have a personal connection to Brantview and would like to relate some of my memories for posterity. I grew up in St. Johnsbury and am a member of the Class of 1960.

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"I lived in Brantview in 1964/65. I remember when Dr. Butler came to tell the 7 girls they would not continue with the girls' dorm for the following year. They realized then that there were 5 juniors who would have to change school in their senior year, (plus) one sophomore and one freshman."

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"We girls (in Brantview) were all one, we had no religious lines, no color lines, no political lines. When my mom died (dorm-mate Florence Kidd) loaned me a black dress to wear to the funeral. We were just all one family—in classes, in the cafeteria, or at the bowling alley. My roommate Sandra (Lewis) Martinez are still close today. The friendships we all shared while we grew into young adults made us the women we are today. Thank you Brantview!“

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I lived in Brantview from the summer of 1949 until the summer of 1955. When I arrived I had just turned 4 years old and a few days later my little sister celebrated her 3rd birthday! My father. Bill John, had just been hired as the English teacher for the junior class at the Academy. Our living quarters were in part of the servants quarters located to the right of the building behind the carriage shelter. In fact the following year my father renovated the 4 bedroom apartment we were later to occupy. His renovation included dismantling the huge Victorian kitchen into a living room. To his amazement he discovered that underneath the old linoleum was a very special floor of light and dark striped flooring. The new kitchen was created from the room that had been used for washing dishes and scrubbing pots and pans. Upstairs he knocked down the wall separating two closets and put in a bathroom!

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I was a dorm student in Brantview from 1960-1962. I lived on the 3rd floor both years. My second year in Brantview, I lived in the room with the balcony view. Ma Simpson was the house mother. There were two other teachers who lived there as well. Mrs. Prindle was the Latin teacher and lived on the second floor. She was an older lady, and I think she might have retired after my first year at the Academy. The teacher on the third floor was a young gal who was the French teacher… I can't recall her name. She was full of life and was dating another teacher at the time!

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A tribute to Brantview — a St. Johnsbury Academy landmark and historic treasure.
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