Oak Grove Seminary
In The Society of Friends in Kennebec County, Maine Rufus M. Jones gives a history of the society and the school. In Up and Down the Kennebec Valley, Mary Grow tells the story of Oak Grove Seminary, summarizing previous source material. Most newspaper coverage came from Kennebec Journal.
By 1780 the Society of Friends had established a meeting house for worship near Vassalboro, Maine. In 1850 they established a school so that their children would receive “careful training, cultivating influences, religious impressions, and broad teaching.” This venture was not successful due to low numbers. The school reopened in 1857 with boarding facilities and a mission to serve all of the families of the region.
By 1896 Oak Grove Seminary had an enrollment of more than 100, taught by a faculty of nine, In addition to the college preparatory department, there were also commercial and music programs.
As a Christian school, it had chapel services each Wednesday. The annual report to the New England Conference noted the number of religious conversions.. By 1909 there were chapters of the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A.
Recitals were a part of every commencement week. The Philomathian Society provided practice for declamation, and debate. Oak Grove joined other prep schools in the region in the Interscholastic Debating League. The upper classes presented annual plays. In 1904 students began publication of Oak Leaves.
Facing falling enrollment after World War, Oak Grove became a girls’ school in 1925. Then in 1970, it merged with Coburn Classical Institute. In financial straits, Oak Grove-Coburn School closed in 1989.
School Colors: Quaker Grey, Red, and Black.
The October 27, 1893 Kennebec Journal reported that Oak Grove Seminary had defeated Coburn Classical Institute in baseball 37-11.
Despite low numbers Oak Grove Seminary played football from 1895 to 1924. The Kennebec Journal reported that the team had beaten Coney High School 4-0 on September 30, 1895 and lost to the same team 10-4 on October 31. O.G.S. generally played a limited schedule of home and home games against local prep schools or high schools with limited success.
In 1902 O.G.S. began basketball, playing many of the same schools in addition to athletic clubs and business colleges. The 1921-22 schedule included Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Chi Alpha and Zeta Psi fraternity teams from neighboring Colby College. The 1922 team won the championship of the University of Maine Interscholastic Tournament, defeating Mattanawcook Academy 27-15.
O.G.S. also played girls’ basketball. The 1903 team were undefeated in seven games, allowing them to claim the championship among Maine schools.