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Civil War History Trail
Item 4 of 8

This school was founded in 1849 as a school for local youth. The first principal of the school, George Rossetter later became the president of Marietta College. During the Civil War, the building used by both Union and Confederate armies. After the war, the school was renovated and used to house the local high school until 1952.


  • The state historical marker
  • The schoolhouse itself
  • The historic school has been partially restored and is adjacent to two historic churches that were created shortly after the Civil War.
  • Front Page of an 1858 Issue of "The Wreath of the Kanawha Valley," a student publication at Buffalo Academy
  • Early 1900s
  • Buffalo Academy before the Civil War
  • 1926 Graduating Class of Buffalo Academy
  • Civil War era students outside the Academy

Buffalo Academy opened in 1849 thanks to the efforts of local citizens who formed the organization for the purpose of education. The building is a modest Greek revival two-story, four-room building made of bricks that were fired on site. The school flourished for a brief time, attracting students from the Ohio and Kanawha River valleys. The academy provided education in both modern and classical languages, as well as the study of the classics, sciences, literature, and religion. 

Once the American Civil War began in 1861, Buffalo Academy was used by both Union and Confederate armies as headquarters, hospitals, and barracks. After war broke out, many of the students enlisted. The location was contested repeatedly as a strategic location in the Kanawha River valley, much the same as nearby Eleanor and Red House. 

After the Civil War, the building itself required extensive repairs before education could resume. By the 1920s it was a part of the Putnam County school system, where it served as the high school until 1952. It is currently empty, although the local historical society has taken responsibility for the grounds and members hope to preserve the building which is part of the Buffalo Town Square. 

"Share Buffalo Academy." E-WV. Accessed August 05, 2016. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/691.