In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the early schools in Rochester. In the last sentence he mentions the Academy building on S. Fithugh Street. After it stopped being used as a school, it became the office for the Department of Education. It has recently been remodeled into apartments. See their website for many photos and details on the apartments.
The first teacher in Rochester, Huldah Strong, will also be mentioned in next week’s article.
Rochester’s first school was opened in 1813 in Enos Stone’s barn, transformed to a schoolhouse. The first teacher was Miss Huldah Strong, a sister of Mrs. Abelard Reynolds. She was young and beautiful and her pupils all loved her. Dr. Jonah Brown, Rochester’s first physician also loved her and married her in 1816. The school was removed to a room over Jehiel Barnard’s clothing store and tailor shop which was on the site of the present Arcade. There were 15 pupils not counting the cow and the horse, the dog, cat hen and chickens and a couple of rats. The first schoolhouse was built during the autumn of 1813 on South Fitzhugh St. It was about 18×24 feet and one story in height. From that time schools and school teachers rapidly increased. Another building was built on the same site and this was soon enlarged and then replaced by the present brick building of the old “Free Academy” which is the present headquarters of the Department of Education.