Abandoned Prep School for Boys

This school for boys, originally located on the main street of a small town in Maryland (name/location removed), was founded as a nonsectarian college prep school for boys. It opened in 1894, and was part of a system of schools collectively that began with kindergarten and extended through high school.

The owner  died in 1898, and left the school several million dollars, and over the next four years, it constructed granite buildings on the bluffs, overlooking the Susquehanna River. By 1902, the school had more than a dozen buildings and an endowment of $2 million. 

The school enjoyed a prestigious reputation for a number of years, and some of its students included children of the famous Mellon and Carnegie families.

The school’s finances dwindled over time, and by 1942 the school had moved back to its original campus in town. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. had begun a race to construct new training centers across the country, and the property was a favorite by both the Army and Navy. The government ended up purchasing the school and adjacent  farmland to create an over 1,100 acre campus that was to become a U.S. Naval Training Center (name redacted). Over 500 buildings were quickly constructed to train new recruits for World War II. The school trained an estimate of over 350,000 sailors for WW II.

After the end of WWII, the campus was deactivated in 1947.  It briefly opened again during the Korean War, but was shut down shortly after in the late 1950’s.

A number of training operations did continue at the campus. Despite all of the activity, individual schools began to close down one by one. In March of 1976, the entire base and campus was officially closed; after an estimated total of over 500,000 sailors were trained at the center.

A local Job Corps Center then operated inside a few of the old school buildings for a short while after. Undergoing an extensive cleanup process, most of the buildings were demolished and the remnants were pushed into a ravine along the highway, leaving behind only a handful of the hundreds of structures.

The entire place was abandoned in 1990, when the job corps moved out, and the school buildings were subjected to decay. There is quite a bit of detail in the iron, stone, and woodwork of these buildings. It’s a shame to see them in such poor condition, due to neglect and weather damage. The land was transferred to a development company in 2000, with plans to make it into a mixed use community area. As you can tell, 13 years later, not much has changed, if anything.

Here are a few photos from the trip. Please leave a comment, and feel free to share.

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