Spring has arrived in East Haddam. The weather is beautiful. While leaves are not yet on the trees, daffodils are up, and flowering bushes blaze with color. Consequently, it is a good time for a virtual tour of town and campus. Join me as a passenger in my two-seat Fiat Spider. Although I am a good driver, please buckle your seat belt as tight as you are able. We are going to fly over the next five minutes. Accordingly, I am providing this written description of what you will see in the video presented below.
Our trip starts just west of the Connecticut River in the town of Haddam. First, we zoom down the hill to the majestic Swing Bridge. Every time I cross this beautiful river into East Haddam I have a big smile on my face. To the right is Goodspeed Musicals, an American treasure that showcases Broadway talent. Beyond is the Gelston House, a historic venue for many of Franklin Academy’s special events such as the All-School Prom and the Senior/Postgraduate Reception and Dinner. Across the street is La Vita Gustosa, a restaurant offering great pizza.
Next, I speed up the left fork for the scenic route to campus. Then, we pass the Post Office, Nathan Hale School House, St. Stephen’s, the Library, and gorgeous homes along Main Street and the river. Now, we leave the river at Landing Hill Road, continue up Orchard Road to the First Congregational Church, and turn right on to Town Street for the sprint to campus. If you don’t blink, you might see Two Wrasslin’ Cats, a favorite coffee house destination, on the left. Finally, we turn right onto River Road.
Down on the left we pass the blue Headmaster’s Residence. Immediately, we drive through the stone pillars marking Franklin Academy’s entrance. The Admissions Office is to the left as we race up the hill toward the Main Dormitory and veer right at the head of the Teardrop. Beyond stand the School House and Student Center. Meanwhile, a quick u-turn by the dormitory takes us in the opposite direction to begin some off-roading.
For this reason we head down the sidewalk past the Dining Hall and out into the field to the Humanities Building. The Murphy Highway begins here, skirts the campus pond, and takes us to the back property where the Ponderosa dorm is located here. We travel down the northern edge of the campus back to River Road, re-enter the school’s property by the Pond House, and approach the Dining Hall that leads us back to the field. Immediately, we veer left before driving into the pond. Ahead is the Science Building, and we motor past our extensive solar panel system that powers 30% of our campus electricity. Finally, we arrive at our destination – my office in the School House. Sometime soon I hope you will be able to visit East Haddam and Franklin Academy in person.