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Tuscarora Academy Museum (Tuscarora Academy)

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Tuscarora Academy
1816; 1853 alterations; 1962 restored. Academia Rd. (PA 3017) at PA 3015
  • (© George E. Thomas)

Whereas the Episcopal church remained rooted on the coast, the Presbyterians moved west with the frontier. The Tuscarora Academy was founded by the Reverend McKnight Williamson of Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church in 1839 to prepare young men as ministers and teachers. After the campus was destroyed in three fires between 1848 and 1852, the school built a four-story brick dormitory and principal's residence, which burned in 1875. The three-and-one-half-story fieldstone Female Seminary building added before the Civil War is now a ruin. The only structure to survive was built in 1816 to house the Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church, a crudely detailed one-story fieldstone meetinghouse. Remodeled for the school in 1853, its first floor was used as a chapel and classrooms and a second-story addition provided twelve dormitory rooms. A simple belfry and stark white plaster walls befit its purpose. After closing in 1911, the academy was used as a public high school until 1916. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the building in 1962 and restored it. Today it is a museum of local history operated by the Juniata Historical Society.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Tuscarora Academy Museum (Tuscarora Academy)", [Mifflin, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 429-429.

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