History of Our Historical Society
In 1962, Academy Hall – the current headquarters of the Rocky Hill Historical Society – was slated for demolition. Fearing that a key piece of the town’s history was about to be eradicated, a small group of residents formed what is now the Rocky Hill Historical Society to save this historic building. Today, Academy Hall pays homage to its school house origins, as well as providing glimpses into the town’s past with fascinating exhibits, research library, and programs.
The Rocky Hill Historical Society is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. Its current mission is to continue to preserve Academy Hall as well as to preserve the history of this river town and make it accessible to the public. Members of the Society contribute to its success in a variety of ways, from planning and maintaining various exhibits, to researching topics of historical interest such as agriculture, education, family genealogies, quarry stories, historic Center Cemetery, and the history of businesses in town. The Society also sponsors and participates in many events benefiting the town.
Rocky Hill’s Academy Hall was built in 1803 as a navigation school for sailors at time when the town was still an active port and students might hope to become sea captains in the future. Construction was funded by public and private contributions, but the builder, Abraham Jaggers, still ended up bankrupt! It later served as a primary school until 1940. Damaged by fire in 1839, the interior was rebuilt. The building has also been altered in other ways, including the removal of the two original end chimneys. Currently owned by the town, the Academy Hall is currently leased to the Rocky Hill Historical Society and serves as a museum and historical library. Description credit: Historic Buildings of Connecticut