After our founding on February 9, 1849, at St. Paul’s Parish, St. Paul’s moved 10 blocks west in 1868 to 258 Saratoga St., the former home of the Maryland Asylum for the Blind, where the school remained for 10 years. In 1878, following several other locations (including a “Matron in Charge” in 1878), St. Paul’s took up residence at 8-10 East Franklin Street (the current home of renowned restaurant Tio Pepe’s), where we remained until moving to our Rogers Avenue Campus in 1923. Purchase price: $55,000.
Following 39 years on Rogers Avenue, in 1952 St. Paul’s acquired the Brooklandwood estate from the heirs of Isaac Emerson, a wealthy philanthropist who invented the headache remedy, Bromo Seltzer. The 1952-53 school year, the first on our current campus, featured students taking classes in stables that had been converted into classrooms. Purchase price: $135,000.
Recently discovered documents contain financial details of the move from Rogers Avenue to Brooklandwood. “I attach statement in the amount of $4.85, together with bill in the amount of $4.08, from the H.B. Davis Co. covering paint purchased in connection with the refurbishing of steel lockers for the School,” reads a letter from Inland Steel Products Co. to Mrs. M.E. Kressler, Asst. Treasurer, St. Paul’s School. In addition, Michael Richick was to be paid $1.66½ per hour for 35 hours of work on the lockers.
On June 27, 1952, the president of W.F. Dougherty & Sons in Philadelphia (“Kitcheners Since 1852,” trumpeted their letterhead) wrote to the Rev. Harry Lee Doll, asking to bid on the school’s plans for a new kitchen. “We suggest that you avail yourselves of the services of our Engineers,” advised E.B. Dougherty. “They are adequately and specially trained in this work and can consequently render a service invaluable to one charged with the responsibility of designing a workable and desirable kitchen.” On February 27, 1953, came a letter from the Calvert Contracting Co. that quoted $385 for “grading a playground on the school property.” Statements in 1953 from Harry T. Campbell Sons’ Corp. total $4,572.35 “for Paving various work and walks at the school” ($2,835 of which was for “Main Road including Entrance”).
Most intriguing is a mortgage statement for March 1955 showing $399.61 due, with $206.25 of that sum as principal. Even knowing these figures and the purchase price of the property, calculating when the mortgage might have been paid off is difficult because we know neither the term nor the interest rate on the loan—though the minutes of the board’s finance committee should have those details for a future issue of this newsletter.