NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 7, 2012

'In Byfield Days' author visiting Governor's Sunday

BYFIELD — Webster Bull, memoir researcher and author of the newly released historical book “In Byfield Days, The History of The Governor’s Academy, 1763-2013,” will visit the private secondary-school campus on Sunday for a book-signing from 3 to 4 p.m.

Bull will be making an appearance at the campus bookstore located in the French Student Center.

His historical account has just been released in conjunction with the academy’s 250th anniversary. The book begins with Richard Dummer, who came over with early settlers aboard the Whale in 1632, and his grandson, Lt. Gov. William Dummer, who together envisioned a grammar school for boys to be supported by a working farm.

It tells the legendary tale of Samuel Moody, the first preceptor, and continues through the middle ages (1790-1907), when survival was not always certain, to the school’s renaissance (1907-1959), when a pair of headmasters brought the then-Governor Dummer Academy into the modern world.

The book culminates with living memory, 1959-2013, relying on many personal interviews with trustees, headmasters, faculty, parents, students and admirers, blended with source material from the academy archives. Two hundred photographs and four campus maps showing the evolution of the academy fill out the narrative.

Visitors can also shop from a selection of Governor’s Academy gear and unique gifts in stock for the holidays, including the Little Red School House Ornament, a limited-edition, European glass-blown ornament. Complimentary gift wrapping, coffee, hot cocoa and treats will be offered.

Those who can’t make it Sunday, but would like to purchase a book signed by the author can call the bookstore at 978-499-3203 before Sunday to place an order. Phone orders will be mailed on Monday, Dec. 10.

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