Photo 3: Prudence Crandall Museum, front entry from rear of house.
Using correspondence, newspaper accounts, and legal documents, the Prudence Crandall Museum staff has pieced together some information on how the academy would have functioned in the house. Since classes were taught throughout the building, the eight rooms of the main house would have been used as multi-purpose rooms furnished with candle stands and worktables interspersed with writing desks, sofas, and side chairs. Documentation exists that the northeast front parlor was used as dormitory space and included hinged beds that could be moved out of the way during the day leaving room for study or meals.
The more formal southeast front parlor would have been set aside to entertain guests and host student recitations and programs. The second floor of the main house had combination bedroom, sitting, and study areas. The first floor of the back ell held a kitchen with cooking fireplace, pantry, and storage rooms. The second floor ell held remaining bedrooms for the students.
Questions for Photos 3 & 4
1. How would you describe the interior of the building? What features look like a house and what look like a school?
2. Why wouldn't the school have contained any traditional classroom space? Do you think this would have mattered? Why or why not? Why do you think the rooms were not remodeled into classrooms?
3. Do you think the appearance and layout of the school tell us something about people's attitudes towards the education of young women at the time? If so, what?
* The photos on the screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Photo 3 and Photo 4, but be aware that each file will take as much as two minutes to load with a 28.8K modem.