Historic Highlight

Front of Hyde School building in winter

Hyde School

Historic Highlight

Situated on a tree-dotted hill overlooking rolling green space, Bath’s Hyde School appears, at first glance, like your typical picturesque private boarding school. But take a closer look and you may notice that the main block of the building, with its ornate entry porch and detailed window treatments, looks distinctly residential. That’s because the 1913 Colonial Revival structure was initially designed as a private home by renowned architect John Calvin Stevens. Known first as Elmhurst, and later as Hyde Mansion, the estate was built for John Sedgewick Hyde, son of Civil War general and Bath Iron Works founder Thomas W. Hyde. Set on 120 acres, the property encompassed 21 rooms, impeccably landscaped gardens accessed by a series of terraces — and one of Maine’s first indoor swimming pools. John Hyde, who became president of BIW in 1905, was only able to enjoy three years at Elmhurst before his death in 1917. His heirs donated the home and grounds to educate and house handicapped children and adults in the mid-1900s. In 1966, it became a college preparatory school that now serves over 170 students.

Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.


4 Comments

  1. Janice Adkisson

    During the polio epidemic in the 1950s my sister was at Hyde Home which was used as a rehabilitation center for those suffering the effects of polio. As a child I remember wandering the grounds with my older brother while my parents visited my sister. At age 17 she learned to walk again at Hyde Home. How impressive that swimming pool was to a child in the 1950s!

    • Julie Senk

      Thank you for sharing, Janice! It’s stories like yours and your sister’s that make places like the Hyde Mansion even more special!

  2. Elizabeth C.

    My father was a teacher at Hyde in the 90’s. My sister and I grew up playing and exploring the campus and Mansion (which my mother who did interior design helped decorate). We had awesome pool parties there for our birthdays too! The pool was cool but creepy at the same time as it it located in the basement of the Mansion which also houses the boiler room and long hallways. Very good memories playing at the duck pond which is now a popular spot for photo sessions, as is the whole campus because of its beautiful architecture and stone walls. Hyde is generous to open the campus for the community of Bath to enjoy!

    • Julie Senk

      Ten-year-old me is incredibly jealous! Actually, adult me is pretty jealous too… How amazing it must have been to experience Hyde Mansion as a child. Places like that certainly leave a lasting impression. Thank you for sharing!

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