Greenwood Seminary Main Street, Greenwood circa 1880s

  • Greenwood Seminary Main Street, Greenwood circa 1880s
  • "Located on the west side of Main Street, across from the Greenwood School, the Greenwood Seminary was established around 1855 under Universalist 'influence' by Rev. Windsor B. Wait, who served as principal, his wife Hannah, who served as 'preceptress.' The Greenwood Seminary was referred to in local news accounts as a private school that was ' a fine large structure for its time, and a popular and approved educational institution.' Pupils came form various parts of Massachusetts and other states, and its fame was said to be 'widespread.' The couple had conducted a school in Lexington before taking charge of the Greenwood Seminary. The Greenwood Seminary seemed to be ahead of its time, with furnaces that provided hot and cold water to every story and 'bathing rooms' as part of the accommodations, things that were 'more than luxuries in that period.' Although some historical references indicate that the school was attended by female students, other records show that both female and male students were admitted. The male department had a 'large play room in the basement for wet weather recreation and a reading room on the first floor' while the girls' department had parlors on the first floor and a recreation room on the third floor. Among those who attended the school were Joseph Grundy, who later became the manager of the Fred I. Wilkins shoe store, and Frank Converse of Malden, son of Elisha S. Converse, a well-known manufacturer and the first Mayor of Malden. Tragically, Frank was killed in 1863 while working as a cashier at First Malden Bank where his father was president. It was said to be the first armed robbery of a bank in the United States. After the seminary closed, Dr. Albert A. Day of Boston came to Greenwood and opened a home for inebriates from 1872 to 1874. After it was abandoned as a home for inebriates, the seminary building remained vacant until it was destroyed by fire in 1880."
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of the Wakefield Historical Society.
  • 1880-1889
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Greenwood Seminary Main Street, Greenwood circa 1880s,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed April 10, 2021,


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