Howard Gibbs, an Amherst College graduate and friend of Headmaster Frank Boyden of Deerfield Academy, had a vision for a younger boy's boarding school that combined a healthy outdoor life with education.
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He wanted boys to develop their innate abilities, discover new interests, and gain confidence. Eaglebrook Lodge, a sanitarium and former hunting camp on 27 wooded acres in the hills of western Massachusetts, seemed the ideal place for his school. In 1922 Mr. Gibbs bought the property and transformed it and its outbuildings into Eaglebrook School. He enrolled 15 boys that first year.
After Mr. Gibbs’s unexpected death, Thurston Chase, an Eaglebrook teacher and recent Williams College graduate took over the School. Under his leadership, student enrollment expanded to 165 students, and the physical plant grew to include a gymnasium, tennis courts, a learning center, a science building, and four new dormitories.
When Thurston Chase retired, his son Stuart Chase '47, assistant headmaster at New Canaan Country School in Connecticut, became Eaglebrook’s Head of School. Stuart Chase saw the School grow to 175 boarders and 58 day students. While he was Head, the School bought 500 adjacent acres and added new playing fields, a track, a modern ski area with snowmaking and a chairlift, two new dormitories, a swimming pool, and a hockey rink.
Andrew Chase '73, Eaglebrook’s former Director of Development, son of Stuart and grandson of Thurston, is the current Head of School. He and his wife Rachel Blain have three children: Calla '07, Lucy '10, and Sam '12.
Three generations of Chases have remained true to Mr. Gibbs’s vision for his school, and although the school continues to grow in its range of offerings and facilities, it still nurtures young boys and helps them realize their talents. The woods, fields, and mountain trails of the western Massachusetts campus continue to provide students with the healthful life that Mr. Gibbs considered so valuable.
Eaglebrook operates under the umbrella of the Allen-Chase Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization. The remarkable facilities of the school, endowed chairs for many faculty positions, a fund for professional development, and the School’s impressive scholarship program are the results of gifts to the Allen-Chase Foundation from generous parents, friends, and alumni. Andrew Chase is a descendent of the Allen and Chase families, both leaders in 19th-century American education.
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Howard Gibbs, an Amherst graduate and friend of Headmaster Frank Boyden of Deerfield Academy, had a vision for a younger boys’ boarding school that combined a healthy outdoor life with education. He wanted boys to develop their innate abilities, discover new interests, and gain deserved confidence. Eaglebrook Lodge, a sanitarium and former hunting camp on 27 wooded acres in the hills of Western Massachusetts, seemed the ideal place for his school. In 1922 Mr. Gibbs bought the property and transformed it and its outbuildings into Eaglebrook School. He enrolled 15 boys that first year.
The Easton Ski Area, Eaglebrook's on-campus ski area was founded.
Eaglebrook's Winter Carnival, was first held in the winter of 1925. It is the second oldest of its kind in the country. Only Dartmouth College's Winter Carnival is older.
The first Candlelighting Ceremony was held. Candlelighting has become one of Eaglebrook’s most cherished traditions. Generations of Eaglebrook students have enjoyed this ceremony that culminates with the lighting of candles on a dark December evening.
After Mr. Gibbs’ unexpected death, Thurston Chase, an Eaglebrook teacher and recent Williams College graduate took over the School. Under his leadership, student enrollment expanded to 165 students, and the physical plant grew to include a gymnasium, tennis courts, learning center, science building, and four new dormitories.
Gibbs House, which housed the entire student body, was built in the center of campus.
The Wednesday night cultural series began. The program, The Hilly Chase Speaker Series, brings speakers and performers to campus honors Hildreth Chase, the current Head of School's grandmother, wife of Thurston Chase.
Originally an infirmary built in 1937, Eagles Nest is now a dormitory for 14 students and three faculty members. During its existence, the structure has also been used for faculty housing and as a temporary science and art building.
As the School was expanding, a new schoolhouse was built in the center of campus.
Performing Arts and Theatre has always been an important part of the School’s mission. The first stage production took place in 1939.
Eaglebrook faculty member Brent Creelman and a group of students built a campout hut in the woods at the top of the ski trail. After Mr. Creelman died in the Second World War, the hut was given his name. Over the years, groups of faculty and students have kept the building in good repair, and Creelman Hut continues to be a popular camping site for Eaglebrook students.
The first edition of The Hearth was published in 1945. The Hearth, published at Country Fair, Winter Carnival, and Commencement, features student articles about life at Eaglebrook.
One of Eaglebrook’s most loved traditions is Country Fair, where families join their child on the Hill for a weekend of activities and fun that includes an old-fashioned New England Country Fair.
The Eaglebrook Band program began. The Eaglebrook band performs on and off-campus several times throughout the year.
Currently known as Doubleday, the Eaglebrook Press building was built across the street from the center of campus. This red brick building next to the main entrance is where boys once used a Linotype to print all of the School publications.
The Good Fellow ceremony began in 1946 and has become an annual tradition. At the close of every school year, the members of the Sixth Form vote for a classmate who best exemplifies the spirit of Eaglebrook and is a friend to all. That person is named the Good Fellow, and the reward for earning that title is a dunk in Whipple Pond.
Little Hundridge, the home which houses the Head of School, was moved. Little Hundridge takes its name from the family home in England, and it was situated on the Eaglebrook campus in 1947 as a home for the Head of School’s great-grandmother.
First built in 1952 as a field house for basketball and rainy day activities, the Sports Center now houses a basketball court, six squash courts, a wrestling room, the Ramon and Laura Neme Lounge, ski team rooms, a rifle range, and locker rooms. The building is used for games, practices, free time activities, and weekend movies.
Macy House, now known as Taylor House, was built in 1960 and renovated in 2007. It houses 38 students and four faculty families. The name was changed to Taylor House in the fall of 2009. Taylor and Flagler are the two oldest dormitories on campus.
Jean Flagler Matthews, parent, longtime trustee, and friend of the School was responsible for the building of Flagler House in 1960. This dormitory was renovated in 2007 and is home to 38 students and four faculty families.
Keith House was built in 1960. It was demolished in 2003 and replaced with Mayer House.
Halsted House was built in 1963 and renovated in 2007.
The Chase Learning Center, built in 1965 on the site of the School’s original pool and extensively renovated in 2014, is the academic heart of Eaglebrook. The building currently houses classrooms, the Copley Library, the Bartlett Assembly Area, the Faculty Area, and the Curriculum, Athletics, and Secondary School Advising offices.
Eaglebrook’s Golf program began and since 1965 has developed many impressive golfers including current PGA tour professional Brandon Wu ‘12.
When Thurston Chase retired, his son Stuart Chase ’47, then the assistant head at New Canaan Country School in Connecticut, became Eaglebrook’s Head of School. Stuart Chase saw Eaglebrook grow to 175 boarders and 58 day students. While he was Head of School, 500 adjacent acres were purchased. New playing fields, a track, a modern ski area with snowmaking and a chair lift, two new dormitories, a swimming pool, and a hockey rink were all added during his tenure.
Stuart, along with his wife Monie Chase, implemented the Home Night tradition. It is one of the students’ favorite traditions where they join their advisor every other Wednesday evening for dinner and a relaxing night of fun and games.
The Talent Show, a popular Hilly Chase production, was started in 1967 and allows students and teachers to perform for the Eaglebrook community. The production presents an evening of comedy, music, dance, and slap-stick performances.
A rope tow was built on the Easton Ski Area for skiers.
The Gibbs Dining Hall was built and quickly became the heart of the School. Three family-style meals are served each day with an informal brunch on Sundays. The dining hall honors Howard Gibbs, the man who founded Eaglebrook in 1922.
Baines House was built in 1970 as a dormitory, but today it is home to the Health Center, Technology Office, and classrooms.
The dress code was relaxed, and the boys no longer had to wear a jacket and tie to class. Instead, students wore khaki pants and a button-down shirt.
The English as a Second Language (ESL) program was implemented in 1975. The course was designed to build fundamental skills of reading and writing so that students can meet the expectations of their content English, history, and science classes.
The Jazz Band ensemble began, which accommodates those students who have demonstrated both exceptional ability and motivation in Band. The Jazz Band performs both on and off-campus a few times each school year.
After 10 years of a rope tow being used to transport skiers up the mountain, a J bar was built.
A fire burned down the Bryant Building to the ground. The building was rebuilt soon after.
The Ad Libs a ccapella group, which is an ensemble of 8-12 Sixth Form singers began in 1978. It was not until 1984 when the group began performing the National Anthem at Fenway Park.
The annual Mountain Day tradition began. The entire community spends the day in Jaffrey, New Hampshire hiking Mt. Monadnock together.
A T-Bar was built on the Easton Ski Area to update the J-bar. The snowmaking system was also implemented.
Grandparents Day, which began in 1985, allows students to bring their grandparents to Eaglebrook for the day. Grandparents are able to attend classes, games, and activities.
The Outdoor Program was formalized in 1991. The program allows students to participate in outdoor activities offered by faculty members. Some of the outings are overnight camping, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, whitewater rafting, and canoe trips. Giving students a connection with the outdoors has always been a part of Eaglebrook's mission.
Snowboarding, a new recreational snow sport program, began in 1991.
The Schwab Family Pool building was built in 1995. The building is open year-round for swimming. The swimming and water polo programs also began this year.
Eaglebrook’s four-week summer school program called “Summer Semester” began. The residential program invites 10-13 year old boys and girls to learn and play for four weeks on the campus of Eaglebrook.
Eaglebrook’s hockey rink - The McFadden Rink at Alfond Arena was built this year. The rink provides ice time for the Eaglebrook hockey program to run practices and games.
The T-bar was taken down and a chairlift was purchased from nearby Wachusett Mountain was placed on the Easton Ski Area. The chairlift was donated by George Macomber ‘41, a former Olympic skier.
The Lewis Track and Field, built in 2001, has six lanes on an all-weather surface. Runners use the track throughout the year, and in the spring Eaglebrook’s track team trains on the surface. Soccer in the fall and Ultimate Disc in the spring use the center field for practice and competition.
In this year, a new fall sport offering, Mountain Biking was offered to students.
Eaglebrook’s first-ever school website launched in 2001 allowing prospective families and current families to read and learn about Eaglebrook.
Andrew Chase ’73, Eaglebrook’s former director of development, son of Stuart and grandson of Thurston, was announced as the next Head of School. He and his wife, Rachel Blain, have three children: Calla ’07, Lucy ’10, and Sam ’12.
Kravis House, a new dormitory, was dedicated in 2002. Henry Kravis ’60 provided the funds to build the new dormitory. Home to 36 boys and four faculty families, it is famous for its stairway, which is the longest on campus with 112 steps.
Eaglebrook dedicated a new dormitory to alumnus and longtime Chairman of the Board of Trustees Gerald Mayer ’44. Mayer House replaced Keith House, formerly Eaglebrook’s oldest dormitory, and houses 38 students and four faculty families.
Chinese became one of four World Language offerings for students.
The Eaglebrook String Orchestra was formed. The performing group is a large ensemble that practices outside of the academic day. Students who have had some previous experience playing a string instrument are invited to join.
The first Smartboard was implemented in Eaglebrook classrooms in 2009.
Six new faculty homes were built near the Schwab Family Pool.
The Matthews Tennis Courts were refurbished—a gift to the school by Jean Flagler Matthews. The courts are located across from the Schwab Pool.
The Bryant Building & the Flagler Science Building were demolished to make room for the construction of the Edward P. Evans Academic Center.
The Edward P. Evans Academic Center opened. The new space transformed the campus, both physically and programmatically. The Center has state-of-the-art spaces for science, art, computer, and music classes. and gives Eaglebrook students many opportunities to explore, create, and discover.
The Middle School Center for Teaching and Learning was founded. The Center is dedicated to researching and promoting excellent teaching, coaching, and mentoring through effective, evidence-based, teacher-student relationships.
The Global Leadership Program was founded in 2018. The program allows students, boys and girls, from Asia to have an experiential learning opportunity focused on English immersion, local history, and project-based classroom lessons.
During the spring trimester, Eaglebrook went remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes were all held online and so were the end-of-year traditions including Commencement, Baccalaureate, and Good Fellow.
During the 2020-2021 school year, the entire community – faculty and students – read the first all-school read, “This Book is Anti Racist.”
The Centennial School year begins in September 2021 with 250 students from 20 states and 21 countries.
The Centennial School year continues. At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, a new Innovation Lab opened in the Edward P. Evans Academic Center.
271 Pine Nook Road | P. O. Box 7 | Deerfield, MA 01342 | 413-774-7411