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Greersburg Academy

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1802. 710 Market St. 1883. 803 Plumb St.
  • Greersburg Academy (HABS/Traub)

Greersburg Academy, the oldest extant building in Beaver County, and affectionately called the “stone pile,” has sophisticated stonework for such an early frontier building. Built under the direction of Reverend Thomas E. Hughes, pastor of nearby Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church, it was the first Presbyterian academy north of the Ohio River. The building is nearly thirty-three-feet square, and has an entrance on each side. It features corner quoins, a stone segmental-arched entrance on the east elevation, and stone arches above the first-story windows. Two interior brick chimneys with paired chimneypots flank the central portion of the pyramidal roof. On the interior, three rooms surround an enclosed stair in the center of the first floor; the second story has five small adjoining rooms. When Greersburg Academy moved to new premises in 1883, the building was sold to the Pittsburgh, Marion and Chicago Railroad Company. Its days as a rail station are evidenced by the reinforced floor in the freight room, the ghost of a porch on the north wall where the platform stood, and a ticket window in the largest room on the first floor.

The Greersburg Academy of 1883 on Plumb Street is a tall, dark red brick rectangle, with two bays of segmental-arched windows at the gable ends and four windows on each side. It functioned as a Presbyterian Academy until 1908, and then as the local public school until 1957.

The two buildings indicate the importance of education to the Presbyterians of western Pennsylvania, a theme echoed in the many local colleges founded by the denomination. Among the eminent Pennsylvanians who attended Greersburg Academy was William Holmes McGuffey (1800–1873), whose readers and spellers sold nearly thirty million copies in the mid-nineteenth century. The Little Beaver Historical Society now operates both former Greersburg academies as museums.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Greersburg Academy", [Darlington, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 155-155.

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