Help Save Historic Bain School

History of Bain Academy

Mint Hill's early settlers believed in education. In 1812, Philadelphia Presbyterian Church partnered with Rocky River Presbyterian Church to establish Rocky River Academy, a college preparatory school, which produced 25 ministers, including the first president of Davidson College, during its 12-year history.

John Bain also realized the importance of education. He was granted permission by Philadelphia Church to build an academy, which opened to students in 1889 and held its first commencement on May 22, 1890. The school's well-rounded curriculum included physics, rhetoric, oratory, music, and Latin, and all its teachers were college-educated. It was the first graded school in Mecklenburg County. After Bain's death on March 26, 1897, at the age of 88, the Bain Trust was established and continued to provide for the school through 1935. A grand total of $16,240 was spent on Bain Academy (1889-1935).

After the church turned the school over to Mecklenburg County around 1922, Charlotte architect Louis Asbury, the first North Carolinian to be admitted to the American Institute of Architects, was hired to redesign the school. The result was a handsome two-story brick building with a belfry.

Bain Academy was one of only two high schools in the county that prepared students for college and for life. Its graduates became doctors, lawyers, city officials, preachers, merchants, teachers, stenographers, bookkeepers, tradesmen, craftsmen, farmers, and homemakers.

Bain graduates returned to the school for reunions year after year and politicians often garnered support at these gatherings. In the late 1930s, North Carolina Governer Clyde Hoey was the keynote speaker at a Bain reunion.

A grassroots effort, headed by Commissioner Tina Ross, is underway to renovate the school and repurpose it for possible use as a community center - a place where the citizens of Mint Hill might enjoy plays, concerts, art shows, and educational classes and activities. Please consider giving a tax-deductible contribution of any amount to:

Historic Bain Restoration
7427 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd
Suite 105-155
Mint Hill, NC 28227

--Carol Timblin

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Carol Timblin • 704-545-6552 •
Tina Ross • 704-545-6231 •