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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bradley Academy - Murfreesboro, TN

Bradley Academy - Murfreesboro, TN

The Academy has a history dating back 200 years, and was the first school in Rutherford County. The first building was a log cabin on the land of Revolutionary War officer John Bradley. A few years later, a brick building was built on Main Street in Murfreesboro.

James K. Polk attended this well-known institution of the time. Also attending the school at that time was John Bell, a long-time opponent of Polk, U.S. Speaker of the House and Presidential Candidate.

Bradley Academy then merged and moved in with nearby Union University in the 1850s, leaving the building vacant for about three decades. In 1884, the Bradley Academy served a new purpose, it was the first black school in America. Over the next few years, enrollment continued to grow, with a need for expansion.

This building seen here was built for the expanding school in 1917. By 1955, city school integrated and no classes were held here anymore. By 1990, Friends of Bradley Academy sought to preserve the school's history and heritage. Today, the 1917 Academy building is a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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