• Berwick
About Us

History

The history of Berwick Academy dates back to 1791, when the citizens of Berwick, York, Kittery, Rollinsford, Portsmouth and Wells raised 500 pounds to better educate the "deplorable youth in this part of the country."
Incorporated by the Massachusetts Legislature and with a charter signed by Governor John Hancock for the purpose of "promoting true piety and virtue and useful knowledge among the rising generation," Berwick Academy was established to teach languages, liberal arts, and sciences.

The oldest educational institution in Maine, the Academy was the equivalent of a comprehensive high school, and until the 1950s, the town of South Berwick contracted with the school to educate local students. However, by 1955, the Board of Trustees reverted to a completely private status with an exclusive college preparatory program in accordance with the intent of the Academy's founders.

Berwick became a boarding school for boys, with a day department for girls and continued to expand its facility by acquiring land for playing fields and tennis courts, as well as nine homes for dormitories and faculty housing. A new gymnasium and the Commons, housing a dining hall and science laboratories, were completed by the mid-sixties. Then Berwick experienced tremendous changes during the seventies - adding the Middle School in 1971 and discontinuing the boarding program in 1976. With the addition of the Lower School in 1977, the transformation to a true country day school was complete.

Berwick continued to expand its facility with the dedication of the Whipple Arts Center in 1985, the Kendall Lower School in 1988, the Clement Middle School in 1994, the Athletic Facility in 1997, the Jeppesen Science Center in 1999, and the opening of the Jackson Library in 2002.

The distinguished history of Berwick Academy, and the long list of students who have emerged successful from our program, will always remain the solid foundation upon which our school is founded.

Berwick Archives

The Berwick Academy Archives contains over 3,000 historical items. It is located on the 2nd floor of the Jackson Library. Please contact the archives manager at archives@berwickacademy.org or 207.384.2164 x 2700 for more information or to make an appointment.

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.