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Collections at Fredonia

The First Normal School

Old Normal School

The cornerstone for this building was laid on 8 August 1867, at the site of the present day location of Old Main. Understanding has it that when the state announced that it would take propositions from communities for new normal schools in 1866, it was the influence of Governor Reuben E. Fenton, of Jamestown, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Victor M. Rice, also from Chautauqua County, that helped secure one of the institutions for Fredonia. It opened for classes on 2 December 1867.


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