U.S. School: St. Paul's (New Hampshire)


Figure 1.--This photo of Hobey Baker taken about 1907 gives us one of the earliest images we have of American ice hockey. It also gives us a very early image of sporting life at the famous Saint Paul's School in New England. It Hobey as a famous the famous school boy hockey star. He came from a prominent Philadelphia family and went on to Princeton. He fought in World War I as a pilot and was tragically killed."

A Boston physician donated his summer home as the site for a new boys' boarding school near Concord (1856). The goal was to offer a humane but rigorous education St. Paul's remained a boysí school until it became one of the first boarding schools to become coeducational (1971). Unlike most American boarding schools, all of the students board. It was founded in the Episcopal tradition and is afiliated with the Episcopal Church. The school is what Americans call a private prep school and the British call a public school. St. Paulís offers an educational program for students in grades 9 through 12 planning to attend college. The extensive grounds are managed by the Audobon Society. There are about 500 students and 100 faculty menbers. The students come from many states and a number of foreign countries. The school has a very strong hockey tradition as part of its atletics program.

History

A Boston physician donated his summer home as the site for a new boys' boarding school near Concord (1856). The goal was to offer a humane but rigorous education St. Paul's remained a boysí school until it became one of the first boarding schools to become coeducational (1971).

Boarding

From its inception, St. Paul's has been a boarding school. Unlike most American boarding schools, all of the students board.

Episcopal Church

St. Paul's was founded in the Episcopal tradition and is afiliated with the Episcopal Church.

Educational Program

The school is what Americans call a private prep school and the British call a public school. St. Paulís offers an educational program for students in grades 9 through 12 (13-18 yeats of age) planning to attend college. Boys from the school attended demanding Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Yale. The extensive grounds are managed by the Audobon Society, an important conservation group. There are more than 500 students and 100 faculty menbers. The students come from many states and a number of foreign countries. Saint Paul's ranks very high both for its sports and its academic standards.

Hockey

Hockey in America seems to have begun in New Hampshire, and Saint Paul's was a very important link in its becoming popular--first in New England, later in the American Northeast in general, and finally in the entire country.The school has a very strong hockey tradition as part of its atletics program. According to the school's archives hockey was played by the boys with the arrival of two Canadian students--George Perley of Ottawa and Arthur Whitney of Montreal (1860s). The first organized hockey game in the country, historians believe, was played on Lower School Pond at Saint Paul's (November 17, 1883). At this time the school's student body of teenage boys included the Astors and the Vanderbilts, future United States senators, and a few years later at least one National Hockey League player-to-be, Don Sweeney, the former Boston Bruin. The photo here gives us perhaps the earliest image we have in America of a schoolboy in a hockey uniform. Hobey Baker, as shown here, was about 15-16 years old. Hobey went on to be a big hockey star at Princeton and then, tragically, was killed in a plane crash during World War I at the tender age of 26. He wears a heavy woolen sweater with the initials of Saint Paul's School on his chest, short white trousers and long black woolen stockings held up with an elastic garter belt. Protective padding and helmets were not used in the early days when the sport was much less rough than it is today. The long black stockings without striping were doubtless influenced by the ordinary long black stockings that boys up until about 16-17 years of age commonly wore with knee trousers in the late-19th and early-20th century. Hockey players of course wore long-sleeved and long-legged union suits under their uniforms for warmth--another holdover, it would appear, from their regular school clothes. Hockey players continue to wear long underwear on the ice even today, and until at least 2000, union suits were the most common kind of long underwear. Saint Paul's was, and is, one of the most exclusive boarding schools for boys in the country.








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Created: 11:40 AM 1/28/2011
Last updated: 11:40 AM 1/28/2011