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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The "Education At It's Best In Lititz, PA" Story

This sign tells the story of Linden Hall.
It sits in front of Mary Dixon Chapel.
It was an ordinary day.  Driving through the little town of Lititz, PA, a few miles to the north of Lancaster, and decided to stop and take a few photos of Linden Hall.  In the past I have written about Linden Hall being United States' oldest and longest continuous operating independent boarding school for girls.  I wrote a story when the Vienna Boys Choir made a visit to the school while in Lancaster to sing at a fundraiser for The Parish Resource Center when my wife worked there.  But, I never really walked the campus and had the chance to see how beautiful the Linden Hall campus really is.  The historical marker that stands in front of the Mary Dixon Chapel that was built in 1885 says the school was founded in 1746, but I have heard that may not be the case.  
Looking west toward the chapel.  The building in the
foreground is part of the performing arts wing.
It seems that the Moravians, who had established a settlement in the Lititz area, broke ground for the Moravian Gemein- haus, a combined chapel, schoolhouse and parsonage, in 1746 so I assume this is why they give that date as the founding date of their school.  The School actually opened two years later with four males and three females.  Eighteen years later the boys and girls were separated and educated in different buildings.  
The main entrance into Linden Hall.
Then in 1794 the first non-Moravian student, Peggy Marvel, was admitted to the school. The founding date can be said to have started at that time, since the Moravian school would have had students from the surrounding settlement.  But then records were found that state the first boarder may have arrived in 1747 from nearby Lancaster.  One way or another, the sign says 1746 and that's good enough for me.  
Some of the dormitories which sit next to the chapel.
And, the sign also states that it was a girls school so I assume somewhere along the line the boys departed.  Today the school has girls from 28 countries and 14 states.  The academically rigorous curriculum is well known throughout the world and draws top notch students who value the excellent education they gain at Linden Hall.  I can remember when I taught photography at nearby Manheim Township High School and competed against the photographic students from Linden Hall.  
Another view of the beautiful campus.
It was a fierce competition to see which school could win the most awards in the National Scholastic Art and Photo- graphy competi- tion.  The campus encompasses 49 acres in the middle of the town of Lititz.  There are approximately 200 students in grades 6-12 at the school which has a faculty ratio of 1 teacher to every 6 girls. 100% of the graduates enter a 4-year college after graduation.  
A beautiful fountain with statues of Dante and Tasso. 
As I walked the campus on this cold January morning, I was impressed with the condition of the campus as well as the buildings on the campus.  The school has a rather large performing arts building, newly renovated educational buildings, an impressive physical arts building with athletic fields and tennis courts, the oldest indoor pool in the county and an excellent horse stable, indoor riding rink as well as an outdoor riding rink and grazing areas.  All that to go along with their beautiful dormitories.  So, how about a few photos to give you a look at one of the best private girls schools in the United States if not the world. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Visitors are greeted to the campus and the chapel with this sign and street name.
I assume this is the mascot of the school.
One of many streetlights which carry banners.
This is the physical education building.
The indoor stable.
Outdoor stable and grazing area.
This 1996 medal was struck to recognize the country's oldest college preparatory school for girls which is located in Lititz, PA.  This medal is part of the Lancaster Coin Club's Collection.
Oh, the tales this door knob on the chapel could tell!  Can you imagine who might have turned it since 1746 to enter into the chapel.

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