Our Strategic Vision

BFS History? There’s a book for that…

Editor’s note: since the publishing of this article in 2013, the School celebrated its 150th anniversary and published Brooklyn Friends School: 150 Years of Light.

Some of us will remember that BFS did publish a book about its history, Seventy Five Years of Brooklyn Friends School, in celebration of the school’s 75th anniversary in 1942 and written by alum Edgerton Grant North of the Class of 1918. If you’ve never had a chance to see it before, you can now read it online right here at the BFS Archives and it is full of fascinating tidbits about the early days of Brooklyn Friends School. Some little items of interest one can find within:

  • In 1867, setting the school up with its very first “commodious apartments” cost $942.52, about $15,000 in today’s money;
  • The earliest known student newspaper at BFS was published in 1912 and was titled The Squealer. That title so offended faculty and pupils, it was soon renamed The Junior Outlook;
  • In 1918, BFS parents and faculty founded a free kindergarten for the larger community in Brooklyn and called it the Little Friends Kindergarten;
  • The first May Day Celebration was held in 1928 and a highlight was “a great thrill… evidenced by Tom Wilkinson, who rode a real horse on this occasion.” [Editor’s Note: Tom Wilkinson ’36 followed his great passion and went on to become a real cowboy “Out West.”]
I think Seventy-Five Years of Brooklyn Friends School is a fun read, what can I say?