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The Buffalo Academy, located at Buffalo, Putnam County, was founded in 1849 by a company of local citizens. The two-story, four-room building in the Greek Revival style was built from bricks made on the site. George Rossetter, later president of Marietta College, was the first principal.

Buffalo Academy offered a liberal education in the classics and ancient and modern languages, as well as science, literature, and religion. The school drew students from up and down the Ohio and Kanawha valleys. It flourished until the Civil War, when many of the young men entered the service. The school was closed and the building was used by both armies as a headquarters, barracks, and at times a hospital. After the war, Buffalo Academy required extensive repairs before the school could be reopened. During the 1920s, it was incorporated into the county school system and later served as part of Buffalo High School until 1952.

The empty building remained in a state of disrepair until the Buffalo Historical Society formed in 1989, for the purpose of restoring it. Today the Buffalo Academy is listed in the National Register of Historic Places with neighboring buildings as part of the Buffalo Town Square Historic District.

Read the National Register nomination.

This Article was written by Bill Wintz

Last Revised on October 17, 2023

Related Articles


Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia vol. 1. Chicago: H. H. Hardesty, 1883, Reprint, Richwood: Comstock, Hardesty West Virginia Counties, 8 vols., 1973.

Vandalia Journal, (July 1976).

"History of Buffalo," Bicentennial Pamphlet. 1976.

Cite This Article

Wintz, Bill "Buffalo Academy." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 17 October 2023. Web. 24 July 2024.


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