ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission will consider recommending the 1839 Asheboro Female Academy for designation as a Randolph County Historic Landmark during a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, in the second floor meeting room of the Historic Randolph County Courthouse, 145 Worth Street.
The meeting is open to the public, and will include a public hearing on the proposed action. If the landmark commission recommends designation, the recommendation will go to the Asheboro City Council for final approval.
The Female Academy, now located on Walker Avenue near the Asheboro City Schools administrative offices, is Asheboro’s oldest standing structure. Built in 1839, it originally stood on the southwest corner of present-day Fayetteville and Salisbury streets.
It was joined by the Asheboro Male Academy in 1842. The two private schools served as a bridge between a time when no formal schooling was available in the community and the advent of public schools in the 1890s.
The Female Academy also offered a more progressive education for girls than generally was available in the region, with a curriculum that included reading, grammar, geography, arithmetic, philosophy (sciences) and rhetoric, as well as needlework and music.
Sold into private hands in 1892, the two-room schoolhouse remained at its original site until the 1970s, when it was donated to the Randolph County Historical Society for a restoration project and relocated to the Walker Avenue location. The Historical Society’s renovation, while not entirely historically accurate, provided a sense of what a mid-19th century school was like and also preserved the structure.
In 2014, the local environmental group TreesNC launched an effort to restore the building to its original appearance using materials and craftsmanship accurate to the period. The project, completed this year, also documented the high degree of original construction remaining in the building.
The Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission was created by the Randolph County Board of Commissioners in 2008 to serve as the county’s official body to identify, preserve and protect the county’s historic landmarks, and to educate the public about those resources and historic preservation in general. It is headquartered at the Randolph County Public Library.
Since its inception, the commission has designated 20 landmarks, including the Historic 1909 Randolph County Courthouse, the Sunset Theatre, the Pisgah Covered Bridge and Faith Rock.
For more information about the commission and to learn about the sites designated, visit www.rchlpc.org.
Asheboro Female Academy
Asheboro Female Academy interior showing original mantle and period-accurate desks recreated during the TreesNC restoration
(more photos available on request)
Ross A. Holt, Director
Randolph County Public Library