On Tuesday, March 1, 1763, sixteen months after the death of Governor Dummer, his friend the Reverend Moses Parsons of the Byfield Parish Church preached at the opening of the new Dummer School. In his daily record for that occasion one may read: " Dumr Charity School begun prayd ther in ye morng." A somewhat fuller entry, made separately, informs us that the text approriately selected for that event was from Isaiah 32:8-- "But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand." Now, two hundred years later, Governor Dummer Academy still stands and flourishes, a memorial to the liberal thoughts and acts of her founder and a tribute to the determination of other liberal-minded men to nurture and increase what the Governor had planted.
The three Trustees named in the Will had seen to it that income from the rental of the Mansion House and farm during 1762 was used to provide for the building of the first schoolhouse. The parish committee, of which Moses Parsons was an influential (if not the leading) member, had designated a site in front of the Mansion House, a little toward Newburyport. The modest, one- story building that was erected there contained but two rooms, and a vestibule with facilities for hanging jackets and coats, the whole of this covering an area of but twenty by thirty feet. The Little Red Schoolhouse (and that it was actually red in color is confirmed in a letter of Nehemiah Cleaveland, who studied there under Isaac. Smith very early in the nineteenth century) stands to this day in a prominent spot on the Academy campus. It has survived a checkered career and many moves. Finally, in 1938, it was beautifully and authentically restored, even to the inside furnishings. Some of these furnishings -- the wide wooden armchair, the pair of scales, the stem-winding watch -- are those actually used by the redoubtable Master Moody. Appropriately a British union jack hangs from the flag standard, for Governor Dummer's school pre-dates our nation.
All was not easy. At the very beginning there was agitation amongst the parishioners of Byfield for arranging that the school be set up nearer to the center of the parish. The provisions of the