Less Traveled 2010

Tracy Pou



Highlight from History: The Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy

Posted 10/25/2010 11:12:00 AM

Mather Academy was founded in 1887 by the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to educate the children of former slaves and their descendants.

Originally called the Browning Model Home and Industrial School, Mather Academy was built on a 27-acre former plantation site. The school first opened its doors to female students and later extended its enrollment to males. During its operation, Mather earned a reputation of excellence for its rigorous academic curriculum, progressive arts program and its emphasis on character building and Christian values.

Mather’s campus included a main building, chapel, library, gym and dormitories. In 1959, the school merged with the Boylan-Haven School of Jacksonville, Fla., to become Boylan Haven-Mather Academy. The school closed in 1983 and the last building was demolished in 1995.

Mather Academy produced a distinguished group of African American alumni who excelled in law, business, politics, sports and more. Mather’s current site has a display that honors six prominent alumni including U.S. Rep. James Clyburn. In addition to the profiles of notable Mather graduates, visitors also will find information on the school’ s history, which spanned nearly a century.

The Mather site is located on Campbell Street in Camden. You can learn more about Mather and current activities to perpetuate the school’s legacy by clicking here.