Cony Female Academy, Augusta, ME, 1880, C. J. F. Bryant

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Cony Female Academy, Augusta, ME
C. J. F. Bryant, architect(s). From the American Architect and Building News, April 10, 1880. 8.75 by 12.75 inches. VG+.
Cony Female Academy was established, without doubt, with Susan (b. 1781), Sarah (b. 1784), Paulina (b. 1787), and Abigail (b. 1791) Cony in mind (a sister Nancy (b. 1777) died in infancy). They were the daughters of Daniel and Susanna (Curtis) Cony, prominent 19th century Augusta citizens. (They had no sons.) The Cony family lived at various locations on Cony Street and their last house, a large brick double at 71 - 73 Cony Street, still stands. The facade has "1834" marked on the front. Daniel Cony was a prominent citizen in the early settlement and served as a physician, senator, town officer, judge, and helped found the Unitarian church. In 1815, Cony quietly began constructing a large brick building at the corner of Bangor and Cony streets. The intended use was a mystery until it was announced to be a school for girls. The school, dedicated in 1816, was endowed by Cony so that "instruction gratis to such number . . [as worthy] . . . of orphans and other females, under the age of sixteen" might take place, as well as education for those who could afford the tuition. (North, 423) The Academy owned a building on Bangor Street (corner of Willow, now demolished) which served as a dormitory. Hallowell Academy for boys (in present day Hallowell) opened in 1795. The Cony daughters had already completed their own studies by the time the girls' academy was built (Abigail, the youngest, was 25), but the school is a statement about the importance the Cony family placed on education for girls. The Academy was known to have had an extensive library, considered by some historians to be the best in the area at the time. The whole plan measures 10.75 by 16.5 inches (with mat border). Finely detailed and beautifully hand-colored. Shrink wrapped.

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