The School Opens

The Hyannis State Normal School opened on September 9, 1897 with thirty-two students. The number of students increased to forty (nine men and thirty-one women) over the next three months. All but two were from Barnstable County.

The First Faculty
William A. Baldwin, Principal Psychology, Pedagogy, History of Education
Bertha M. Brown Biology, Mathematics, English
Sara T. Oliver Chemistry, Mineralogy, Drawing
Edmund F. Sawyer Vocal Music

The newly built campus contained four main buildings: the normal school building, the dormitory, the training school building, and the principal’s residence.

The normal school building contained recitation rooms, lecture rooms, laboratories and a gymnasium. The dormitory building contained twenty-six rooms for students, two for teachers, one for a matron, three for servants, a guest chamber, a parlor, a dining room, a kitchen, a laundry, a pantry, a servant’s sitting room, and a storeroom.

A formal dedication of the Hyannis Normal School was not held at the opening of the school year in 1897, but was held instead at the time of the graduation of the first class in June 1899. On that occasion thirty members of the class were graduated and acknowledged during a week-long celebration of the school. According to the lengthy account of the festivities detailed in the Barnstable Patriot of June 26, 1899, Tuesday, June 20th “was Normal Day and could all concerned have chosen, no prettier day could have been selected.” Speakers at the graduation and dedication ceremonies included Principal William A. Baldwin, Chaplain H. N. Conden, Mr. Franklin Crocker, Dr. E. C. Hinkley of the Barnstable County Board of Education, and Dr. T. N. Balliet, the Superintendent of Schools of Springfield.