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Bloomfield Hills Seminary Records

 Collection
Identifier: 1989-53

Collection Scope

This small collection contains correspondence, minutes, and stock certificates pertaining to the Bloomfield Hills Seminary between 1912 and 1918. It also includes student work by Charles Klingensmith and one photograph.

Dates

  • 1912 - 1979
  • Majority of material found within 1912 - 1919

Creator

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

In early June of 1912 a small group of Bloomfield Hills residents assembled at the home of William T. Barbour to discuss the formation of a small local private school. This meeting resulted in the establishment of a small corporation with capital of $5,000.00 which would fund the school. The objectives of the school were to “give the young people of Bloomfield Hills, and those from nearby towns, the opportunity to study in the country; to offer a course of study that will fit them for life as well as for college.” With these objectives in place, the Bloomfield Hills Seminary was incorporated in August.

Often referred to as the precursor to Brookside School, the Seminary was located on five acres at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Lone Pine Road, in a historic house built in 1820 by Ezra Parke. George Booth, who had purchased the property in 1910, offered use of the house and added a five-class-room addition with the caveat that the property would revert back to him should the school ever close.

Mary Eade, who had been the principal of the Detroit Seminary for Girls, became the principal and taught grammar and upper level courses, including History of Art. Elizabeth K. Seward (granddaughter of William Henry Seward of the Alaska purchase fame) taught intermediate classes including French, and Winifred Eastman was responsible for the elementary age children. The coeducational day school used the Montessori method of instruction.

In 1916, the trustees voted to change the name of the school to the Bloomfield Hills School. At its peak, there were eight teachers and fifty-one students enrolled. Due in part to the resignation of Mary Eade (who resigned to do war work) and the construction of new public schools in Birmingham and Pontiac, the school closed in 1918 after six years. The property reverted back to Booth who purchased all of the stock certificates back from the trustees.

Extent

0.65 Linear Feet (1 MS, 4 volumes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Bloomfield Hills Seminary, often referred to as the precursor to Brookside School, was formed in 1912 by a small group of Bloomfield Hills residents as a local private school to “give the young people of Bloomfield Hills, and those from nearby towns, the opportunity to study in the country; to offer a course of study that will fit them for life as well as for college.” It opened in a historic house built in 1820 by Ezra Parke and owned by George Booth, who added a five-class-room addition with the caveat that the property would revert back to him should the school ever close. At its peak, the coeducation school had eight teachers and fifty-one students enrolled. Courses included elementary through upper level Montessori Method instruction. In 1916, the name of the school changed to the Bloomfield Hills School and in 1918 it closed at which time the property reverted back to Booth. This small collection contains correspondence, minutes, and stock certificates pertaining to the Bloomfield Hills Seminary/School between 1912 and 1918.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by record type.

Acquisition

Transferred to the Archive. Incorporates gift of Charles Klingensmith.

Related Materials

George Gough Booth Papers (1981-01) Brookside School Records (2002-04)

Processing History

Processed by Laura MacNewman, 2018.
Title
Guide to the Bloomfield Hills Seminary Records
Status
Completed
Author
Laura MacNewman
Date
2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Revision Statements

  • September 2020: Addition of Charles Klingensmith materials.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository

Contact:
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 US