Thornton Academy

Thornton Academy

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Thornton Academy

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Thornton Academy (often abbreviated as TA) is a co-educational independent day and boarding school serving grades 6–12 located in Saco, Maine.


Thornton Academy was first established in 1811, when Maine was still a territory of Massachusettes. It was founded under the name "Saco Academy" in response to a petition by citizens of southern Maine, most of them from Saco, to the Massachusetts legislature, which passed, in both houses, a bill founding the school in February 1811. The founding legislation also granted, as was common, six square miles of land (16<!-- 1x6 mi²; or 6x6 mi² = 93 km²? -->&nbsp;km²) in northern Maine (most of what is currently the southern part of Greenville) as an endowment so long as the trustees named in the founding charter raised USD&nbsp;$3,000 in funds. After successful fundraising and construction, Saco Academy officially opened on January&nbsp;4, 1813.

The school was plagued for years by financial difficulty. The name was officially changed to Thornton Academy in 1821 in gratitude for the gift of $1,000 by Dr. Thomas G. Thornton, also the marshal for the Maine territory, which put the school on solid financial footing. Depending upon the economic indices used, the gift may have been worth up to $36&nbsp;million in 2007 dollars.

The academy was destroyed by fire on July 28, 1848 in what was concluded to be arson, although no culprit was ever found. Almost all records were lost in the fire, and the...
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