History + Yearbooks


1841
Williston Academy is founded by Samuel and Emily Williston
1924
Northampton School for Girls is founded by Sarah Whitaker and Dorothy Bement
1971
The two schools merge and become the Williston Northampton School.

Objects from the Archives

Samuel Williston's Hat

In the mid-19th century, no gentleman would have appeared in public hatless. Somehow, we still have Samuel’s dress hat – tall, covered in beaver fur, and even in its present dilapidated state, distinguished. And of course, black.

Original Buttons

Emily Graves Williston, a talented seamstress, jump-started the family fortune when she snipped a button off the coat of a visiting clergyman and dismantled it to see how it was made. In an unofficial biography, she is quoted as saying, “buttons on a girl’s dress are just as noticeable as her nose.” These rusted scissors, black silk bits, and wooden button centers were found under the Williston Birthplace floorboards

Emily Williston's Brooch

Husband Samuel gave Emily this brooch, based on a painting by John Singleton Copley. It depicts the prophet Samuel’s call into the Lord’s service. Emily wore it in every one of her painted and photographic portraits for the rest of her life.

NSFG School Uniform

It wasn’t really a uniform; wearing it was not a requirement. But at least through the mid-’60s, many girls wore a green school blazer, often accessorized with class and athletic insignia. Consensus was that it looked best with a white pleated skirt. Above left, a Class of ’56 freshman beanie.

NSFG Badges and Banners

Along with a banner in the school’s colors, a blazer patch from the Massachusetts Farm Volunteers, in which many students participated during World War II

May I have this dance?

Dance cards and invitations are just a few of the mementos from the school’s early years to be found in the Williston Northampton Archives.

Pins and Rings

Clockwise from the top: a ski team badge, ca. 1970; a 1961 class ring; and a Northampton School bracelet charm, date unknown.

Relive the Yearbooks

They were the best of times…Relive the fashions, hairstyles, and hijinks of your high school years. Remember favorite faculty and winning teams. See who lived up to their senior superlatives and marvel at the path you’ve taken since you graduated.  

From the Archives

Archivist and Librarian Rick Teller ‘70 shares the history behind the traditions and the stories behind the people and places that contribute to the story of the Williston Northampton School.  

For seniors, placing a class plaque on the fence is an honored end-of-the-year tradition, connecting classes across the years

To gain admission in 1879, a prospective student had to know the latitude and longitude of Boston, Rome, and Bejing, and many other curious questions of days gone by.

The first dorm built on the “new” campus back in 1916, Ford has been home to generations of students—as well as countless traditions and epic pranks.

Ask the Archivist: Do you have a question about Williston history? Or, do you have memorabilia that might be of interest for the Archives? If so, please contact school archivist  Rick Teller ’70.