At the turn of the 19th century, Missouri’s growing population demanded access to education. Private tutors and schools were the only options for structured learning until the 1830s when tax-funded public schools were introduced in several Missouri cities. Although public schools proliferated into the 1870s, private schools continued to flourish as they addressed the unique concerns of different religious populations while providing educational opportunities for women and racial and ethnic groups. Private schools tied to the Catholic faith became some of the most prominent in St. Louis, where by 1900, there was a college for men, three high schools for boys, and six academies for girls. One such girl’s school, Visitation Academy, catered to the spiritual and educational needs of the city’s large Catholic population.
This wooden bed frame was used in the early 1900s at Visitation Academy. Founded in 1833, the private boarding school was established in Kaskaskia, Illinois, by the Sisters of the Visitation to educate middle- and upper-class girls. After a flood destroyed this academy and its monastery in 1844, Visitation relocated to St. Louis, where it continued to board students until 1962. During this time, girls would have lived on campus and been taught and supervised by sisters. Visitation remains committed to supporting students’ academic and spiritual development to this day. As one of Missouri’s 665 private schools, Visitation serves around 530 pre-K through12 students and ranks in the top 20% of St. Louis’ private schools.
Subject: Private schools;
Contributing Institution: St. Louis Visitation Archives
Copy Request: Reproductions may not be sold, loaned, or in way transferred to any person, entity, organization, or library without permission of the St. Louis Visitation Archives.
Rights: The St. Louis Visitation Archives does not necessarily hold the copyrights, privacy permissions, releases, or public rights to the photographs and other materials in our collection. It is the User’s obligation to determine copyright status and holders, meet the holder’s requirements, and honor restrictions.
Region: St. Louis Metro