Historical Tidbit #1 — Did you know that the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, attended New York Military Academy? Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith entered NYMA in September 1919 when he was 15 years old and in the ninth grade, but withdrew a short time later in December 1919. His mother, Jessie Lincoln Beckwith, was the youngest daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to maturity. Robert Beckwith was the last Lincoln, dying in 1985.

Historical Tidbit #2 — Did you know that the curved stone wall behind the Palmer House (Business Office) is the surviving half of the old main entrance gateway to the academy grounds? Constructed in 1893 of rough, unhewn stone, it is noteworthy because it is one of the few landmarks remaining from the earliest days of our school’s history, pre-dating all the present buildings on the quad. Through this entrance, the driveway extended past the east end of Jefferson Hall, the old main building that stood on the approximate site of the AC building, and onto the main campus. The other half of the stone entrance was demolished when the chapel was constructed in 1927-28.

Historical Tidbit #3 — Did you know that NYMA used to have a nine-hole golf course on campus? The December 1897 issue of the NYMA Quarterly reported that in the fall of 1897 a temporary course of three holes “was arranged to give opportunity for practice” and in “October [1897] a regular links of nine holes was laid out and equipped with flags, metal marking sizes, hole rims of improved design, well built tees, sand boxes, direction and distance signs, etc.” It is noteworthy that this was one of the first scholastic golf courses in the country.

Historical Tidbit #4 — Did you know that although girls first attended NYMA as cadets in September 1975, an item in the June 2, 1933, issue of The Ramble (student newspaper) reminds us that, “There have been three young ladies who were students at N.Y.M.A.,” long before the school became co-educational. Indeed, academic records in the archives show that Ethel and Isabel Jones, teenage daughters of Sebastian C. Jones, our 2nd superintendent, attended classes for two years from 1912 to 1914. And, how easy it was for them to do, for the superintendent’s quarters at that time were on the second floor of the Academic Building at the end towards the parade field.

Historical Tidbit #5 — Did you know that the concrete exterior walls of Jones Barracks were poured in forms on the ground and then jacked up into position? “Many people,” reported the Cornwall Local in its July 7, 1910, issue, “visit the scene of operations, as the system by which these buildings are constructed is new and novel in the east, and very interesting.” Three weeks later, in the July 28 issue, the paper noted that “The first side of the concrete barracks building at the Military Academy was raised on Friday, being placed in position without accident or slip anywhere. Three electric motors of five, fifteen and thirty horsepower, were used in elevating the huge concrete slab to its proper position.”

Historical Tidbit #6 — Did you know that NYMA used to have a two-lane bowling alley in the basement of Hade Gymnasium which was located where Pattillo Hall now stands? After the lanes were installed in the spring of 1937, bowling became a popular pastime with cadets and faculty alike. A faculty bowling club was even formed and tournaments and evening bowling parties were held. Cadets served as pinsetters or “pin boys.” The bowling alley was destroyed by fire when the gym burned down on October 29, 1962.