Tuesday, September 1, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 35, SCHOOL DAYS: Gussie GRAVES' report card, 1878

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was NON-POPULATION SCHEDULES or censuses - but instead, I wrote about my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary McCURDY.

This week's theme is SCHOOL DAYS  and I have a very brief glimpse into the school days of my maternal great-grandmother, Clara Augusta "Gussie" "Madee" GRAVES (1857-1955).

Found in the TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM - see my other blog for more details - the report card from the Rockland Institute, is one of the few known details about my great-grandmother's interests and abilities.

The Rockland Female Institute was a fashionable finishing school, with room for a maximum of about 100 boarding students (women).  From Syracuse, where her family lived, it would be approximately 235 miles distant.  A brief history and description may be read from a newspaper article found on  Old Fulton Postcards/Newspapers, 1940.

The Rockland Female Institute was built in Nyack, New York, near the Hudson River.  The photograph seen here (Copyright The Hudson River Valley Heritage website)  is dated 1856, not long after the Institute had opened.  

My great-grandmother was always known to me as "Madee" - a corruption of the Spanish word for Mother - Madre.  She seems to have been called "Gussie" by her family, and certainly by her husband, James "Grove" Grover TERWILLIGER.

She died when I was 12 years old, although I don't remember the family talking about her at that time.  Mind you, that age and stage is so narcissistic, any discussion of Madee likely flew right over my head!  At one time I had a small pencil box of hers, but somewhere along the line, it disappeared... likely thrown out as "not being useful".  I think I stopped using pencil boxes at high school (Grades 7-12).  Now, of course, I'm mourning the loss of that small piece of treasure from her life.

Her Report, dated Feb 1, 1878, is for a half-academic year, and shows almost perfect attendance (95%). And her scholastic achievement was quite exceptional! Bright young woman - 21 years of age at this point.

   Composition  100
   German        100
   French           99
   Drawing       100
   Recitation     100
   Music           100

Yes, this young woman was very bright, artistic and creative in several different ways.  Somewhere in the Album may be another piece of her schoolwork... a Science project for which she also received very high marks.  That will have to keep for another day, or for when I finally find it and post the page from the TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM!

Obviously if you have any information or corrections about the Rockland Institute or any of her classmates, I would be very pleased to receive this.  You may send details through my email at bottom of page, or in the Comments section below.

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis