Temple Hill Academy

Courtesy of Jon and Liz Porter

Temple Hill Academy was incorporated in 1826 and the buildings erected from plans by Cyreus Warner on land given by the Wadsworths. The institution was first called Livingston County High School, then Temple Hill Academy and in 1858 changed to Geneseo Academy. This school flourished and attracted students from throughout the world until about 1872 when, due to the establishment of the State Normal School, it was abandoned.

Courtesy of Livingston County Historian

Among those who attended Temple Hill Academy were Horace Bixby, who taught Mark Twain his trade as a Mississippi steamboat pilot, and Chester A. Arthur, who went on to become president of the United States. One of its first principals later became president of Harvard and another became an eminent United States judge.

The school consisted of two main buildings built of brick, three stories high, which overlooked the village with a panoramic view of the valley. There was a plank road about where Prospect Street is and the surrounding area was known as Temple Hill pasture lands.

In 1884 the buildings and part of the grounds were sold to Abram Goodwin. In 1907 Henry V. Colt, Jr., a well known horseman, purchased the property. At this time, the north building was taken down while the south was restored and converted by Mr. and Mrs. Colt to its present handsome state.

Courtesy of Livingston County Historian

The beautifully designed porch and doorway with a palladian window relieved the severity of the three-story facade. The grounds, also, were transformed and adapted to a private estate. In 1942, Temple Hill was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. James Lockhart, and it served as their residence for many years. At present, it is operated as the Temple Hill Bed and Breakfast by Gail B. and Mary L. White.