The property contained three main buildings. These buildings consisted of four floors and a section for male student boarding. The second building was for female student boarding. The third and final building was boarding for the supervisors of the farm house. Tuition per year costed thirty dollars. To lower this cost, students were allowed to work. Males made five cents per hour and females made three cents per hour. Women were charged one dollar a week for board. An example of a successful student was one named Mary Edmonia Lewis, who was part African-American and part Native American, that attended the college. Lewis attended the college for a couple years, taking English and writing courses to help improve her education. Later in her life she became a famous sculptor but started her journey at the New York Central College.
In 1860 the college experienced an outbreak of small pox. Many students died and were buried on the property. The college today still has the gravestones of those who passed from the disease. The small pox outbreak spread fast and classes were put on hold. After the outbreak the college had to shut down for several reasons, but mostly that the college didn't have the financial support it needed to succeed. The property was sold to a stock company, which organized the New York Central Academy.
The New York Central College is important because right here, in Cortland County, we had an institution that accepted all races during the before the Civil War began. African Americans in the south were deprived of getting any education. Northern African Americans were sometimes given a chance to escape, therefore they were given a higher chance to be educated. This school helped African Americans advance in society and allowed them to not be discriminated because of the color of their skin.
By: Patricia Rose, Fallon Haggerty, Michael Armstrong, & Jack Quinn