Pantego Academy Historical Museum Association, Inc
Ye Olde Academy of Pantego

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VOL 2 - NO 9,  SEPTEMBER  2010

VOL 2 - NO 10, OCTOBER 2010




*August had folks enjoying local watermelon, peaches, & pears & lemonade ..where were you? Missed some special treats.

*Thanks to those spending hot Carolina Tue. afternoon cleaning for August fundraiser.

*If you missed the 8-16 meeting, missed some tasty cake. *Glad to have Myra Webster(PHS-55) to attend. Wish were others from far away and local also showing support that she does.

*“Earl” came close; but glad did not visit.

*Belfry got painted first week in September.

*special thanks to Bill Rose and Thomas Russ for all their mowing this summer.

* Jail painted and bars replaced & new steps

*Why watermelons “explode when left in Academy kitchen

*Thanks to Dorianne Smith for fall decorations. Dorianne hosted Washington “Red Hats” at Academy on 9-14 for soup and sandwiches. Thanks to Dorianne and those helping.

*9-18 saw an interesting item of Pantego history donated. The US post office sign for Pantego Post Office which sat on corner of 264 & Church St. Donated by Carol Boyd Tillman of Belhaven ; was discovered in old Sinclair Station. Thanks carol!!

Many still remember fondly “Miss” Ester Aycock Davenport as Postmaster and Paul Dawson as rural carrier. Building is still in Pantego back of “Town Square” .

Museum had 2 residents of Pantego,TEXAS, to visit on 9-25

*Dr. E. S. Credle’s medical bag donated. Full of stuff.

*Board met in emergency session to discuss plans for roof leak

*PHS class of 55 will have reunion on October 23.

Special tribute to class of 55 next month

* Hope none had damage from heavy October rain!

* OCT 16th , Academy will host Mac’s Bluegrass Jam with local performers at 8 PM. Free Community Concert Series sponsored by Beaufort County Arts Council. Try to attend. Jam session held 4-6(come out & sing or play with groups).

*PAHM Board met on 10-3-10 to discuss leak in old boys bathroom-now used for storage. roof nails in rotted joists

*Veteran’s Day Program on November 7th at 2. Done to honor veterans of all America’s wars. Perhaps you have items which you will loan for display. Boy Scouts items will be on display, thanks to Jack Dunbar.


John L. Ratcliff, III

Jail Information


No information as to when jail was built.  Believed was only used by Town of Pantego & not for Pantego Township. Pantego Town had a constable with arrest powers; but changes in NC legal system over the years made this post have no legal powers.  Joh of constable continued until the 1960s or 70s.  Function was attending Pantego Hisch ball games; law officer required to be present.  Only known town constables were Albin Jones, Oliver Swindell, Leslie Winfield, & Dennis Wallace.  According to 95 year old black was another Pantego jail for blacks; location unknown.  Pantego Jail contained one cell with wooden partition with 2 two interior doors.





Thoughts to ponder. Academy building has been witness to wars, hard times, good times & education for many. Perhaps “folks” from past are there looking over Academy from past & telling they are around to let us know they care!Why would one say this:

*Pinto beans cooking have been smelled; only to have leave in seconds

*Hoyt’s Cologne has been smelled; only to leave in seconds.

*lights cut off, are on in a few minutes.

*Items left on table are rearranged when no one has been in building.

*Sounds like someone walking upstairs and coming down front steps been heard. Unusual in that was “step & tap”.

*Since both walked with “step & tap”; Names are given to them . Dr. Henderson Snell, one legged veteran of Civil War & first principal of Academy; & “Miss Lena Windley, beloved teacher from early 1900s to 1920s, & walked with two crutches. Maybe playing games to let us know they are there & care about Academy.

* Strange that Miss Lena’s brother-in-law’s medical bag was returned as mannequin to represent Miss Lena is on display.

*Boys in 1940s were walking down Church St. after going to movie in Belhaven on moon light night. Saw a big black dog pumping water from hand pump in Academy yard & could hear noise of pump. All ran fast home. One person, now in his 70s, still says dog was pumping water.

*So if you ride by Academy in October on a dark night; you just might see them looking at YOU! But above happenings does make one think! Perhaps Dr. Snell & Miss Lena want to tell us something?

*(personal note): Yes, might be some “spirits’ in area houses. Who knows? Know have lived in 2 area houses which unusual happened. Might been old house settling…But why feel need to put all pictures in one room; just like resident had back in 1930s? P.H. Johnson home has unusual happenings. Sounds of someone walking down steps; doors open when closed; feeling of someone looking over shoulder & more. Others have witnessed this also!

Previous Publications


“A committee was asked to audit the school property in 1888 and their report follows: “Cistern in pretty good condition, a few of the surface picks being broken up and cemented; 7 window lights excepting being defaced and 5 ink wells removed with one ink well lid lost.” Miss Simmons rented the Academy for school purposes and a Miss Meta Chestnut taught at the school in 1889 on her own.

In order to pay a big debt against the school, the building was leased to S. L. Johnson in 1890, but the lease was later amended when Walter Clark, the school’s dear friend, took up the lease in order to save the school.

From 1892 to 1900, school history is almost negligible. One Mr. Wyche taught a term, and so did the Rev. Everett Hocutt, a Methodist minister. From then on to the 1900’s the fame of the institution dwindled to naught. In the winter months, older children went elsewhere to school---to Chowan to Smithfield and Bingham. In the summer, in the old free school building, (the store of Albin Jones), Miss Ella Bowen, (Mrs. W. H. Shavender), taught school. In these hectic times one Mr. Holton assisted by Miss Dora Bishop taught two years at the Academy.”

(Historical note: Time period was one of financial crisis for USA and South. Banks failed ;farm and wood product prices dropped; and especially in Southern states which only had started to recover from the devastation of the Civil War. Certain “Northern” investors and others saw this area as a “rich” opportunity for investment for the future.”) Like the old saying: “Them that has gets; and the rest gets children.”

Next Academy columns will be dedicated to Christmas. Come on folks, surely you have special school or family memories both good and bad, you could share! Email to
or mail to Pantego academy, 46 Academy Street…or just put in academy mail box. No names needed!

Examples: Black lady donated chalk board to museum. Said was only gift for 3 kids that year & said with tears in eyes. Weather was bad and father could not work & had saved just enough money to buy this gift. Family problem was discussed at local store. Men got food & firewood for family.

PHS teacher says most meaningful Christmas gift from child was used neck tie. Was all child had to give.

family might not want YOUR stories now! But given some years & might want. Hopefully, YOUR stories & writing will be at Academy Museum for them.

Take a few minutes & write down your memories about anything.

Please send in your stories & ideas!

Pantego Academy Historical Museum hope you have a nice fall!

Remember Academy is open Saturday & Sunday 2-4

Hope you can visit soon!



*Remember your 1st Grade teacher?

*Wearing shoes once more for school after barefooted.

*Big 1st grade pencils without erasers

*Dick and Jane books in 1st & 2nd grades

* how good mud felt between toes in summer?

*Hurricanes of the past

* Being out of school for days due to hurricanes

* smell of tobacco in local towns due to selling of tobacco.

*Sweet potatoes stored in “hills”

*When 9th “graders” came to PHS from Pinetown school

*Opening of school postponed due to late tobacco crop.

* Looking forward to Halloween carnival

* School being let out to pick cotton

*Stores did not have Halloween things for sale

* Thanksgiving not celebrated because was Yankee holiday

* Smell of lunchroom Thanksgiving meal

* Christmas items never being in stores before first of December

*Where James City was

* Where blood Field was

* Where dog fennel town was

*Hoping for heavy rain so get out of school early

*Dreading health nurse coming to visit school

*Small pox shot before 1st grade

Academy Columns - May 2010


 Academy Columns - June 2010


 Academy Columns - July 2010 


 Academy Columns - August 2010


Academy Columns - Sept-Oct 2010 


 Academy Columns - November 2010


 Academy Columns - December 2010