We don't know much about the Misses Porter's School. It was located in Middletown, New York, a town in Orange County in the southern part of the state not too far from New York City and close to the eastern border of Pennsylvania. It seems to be unrelated to the famous private girl's school, Misses Porter School, of Farmington, Connecticut, although it is possible there was some family connection. The name suggests a private rather than a public school. It was not common to name a school attended by boys after an unmarried woman. Many private schools were single gender schools The children all seem to come from relatively affluent families because they are so well dressed.
We don't know much about the Misses Porter's School. The name suggests a private rather than a public school. It was not common to name a school attended by boys after an unmarried woman. This would be especially the case for a school older boys the age seen here. Many private schools were single gender schools rather than coed, especially in the 1890s. The children all seem to come from relatively affluent families because they are so well dressed. The age of the students suggest that this was a secondat-level school. But the numbers of students suggest that it was a very small school.
Note that the name of the school is not the "Miss Porter's School". It was "the Misses Porter School." The plural is deliberate. There were two Miss Porters or at least more than one (hence the form "the Misses" which is correct for two or more unmarried ladies, who were probably sisters).
Private schools were often run from buildings that were originally family homes and that served as school buildings in the 1890s and 1900s. The school was probably a day school rather than a boarding school--i.e., the children lived at home but came to this frame building for classes, probably very small classes. Their parents must have paid regular fees or tuition.
It is a bit difficulr here to tell who are the students and who are the teachers. We seen at least two older women. At first I thought some of the older people in the photograph were teachers, but clearly most of the individuals are students. For some reason several of the young people here look older than modern highschool students. Perhaps it is how they were dressed.
The building does not look like a school. Rather it looks like the porch of someone's house. School buildings did not normally have porches like this. Either this is a very small school or this is a group of students at some kind of social event. Given the age mix, this does not seem likely.
It seems to be unrelated to the famous private girl's school, Miss Porter's School, of Farmington, Connecticut, although it is possible there was some family connection.
It was located in Middletown, New York, a town in Orange County in the southern part of the state not too far from New York City and close to the eastern border of Pennsylvania. The school was located on Highland Avenue at the corner of Prospect Street.
The children look as though they are a mix of junior and senior highschool level (about 12 to 18 years old). We
know a few of the names of the boys. The three boys sitting on the bench in the first row are (from left to right) H. Campbell, Harold Slauson, and Hayner Gordon. The boy sitting in the chair at the right is Kinsley Slauson, presumably Harold's older brother.
This school portrait was taken in the 1890s--I suspect about 1895. . We would gues it was taken about 1895.
There was no uniform and the students wear a range of clothing. All the boys in front wear knee pants, long black stockings, and hightop shoes. Kinsley Slauson, the boy in the chair, is
particularly elegantly dressed in a double breasted knee pants suit. He seems to be about 15 years old. The boys at the back wear dapper suits with homberg and bowler hats. It is mostly the older boys who are wearing hats. The girl at the front wears a pinafore. Many of the girls wear elaborate dresses with mutton-chop sleeves.
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