The Boys’ School

Boys school

Boys school illustration

Boys school rendering

Make a Gift to the Boys’ School Project

Make a Gift to the Capital Campaign

To learn more contact Frances Beasley, Vice President of Development (336-721-7331,


On Common Ground

A primary initiative of the Capital Campaign, the Boys’ School will be restored and revitalized as an exhibition building. Built in 1794, the Boys’ School offered classroom instruction to boys aged 6 – 14, but it has never been used as an interpretive site for education at Old Salem.

Funds from the Capital Campaign will help us turn this historically and architecturally significant community building into a lively depiction of the story of education in Salem. Through traditional costumed interpretation, hands-on activities, exhibits and interactive technology, visitors will get a glimpse of the 1794 Boys’ School and its “head teacher” Peter Wolle and learn about the in-depth education offered to both boys and girls in early 19th century Salem. Students from the Boys’ School will be introduced, linking them to families and other sites in Old Salem, furthering the understanding of personal connections in this tightly knit community. The Boys’ School urgently needs restoration, including roofing, flooring, windows, mechanical, electrical and structural systems. Building an endowment will ensure the Boys’ School will stay relevant well into the future.

In addition to restoration of the building, the yard and a piazza will be reconstructed for outside activities and investigations, just as they would have been used for the early students at the Boys’ School. Two outbuildings will be reconstructed in the rear yard: the Piazza and the Woodshed. The Piazza will include outdoor classroom space. The Woodshed will contain visitor restrooms and possibly a basement for a geothermal heating and cooling system. The rear yard will be re-graded for gardens and fencing.