Tome School for Boys
The Tome School for Boys, originally located on Main Street in Port Deposit, Maryland was founded by Jacob Tome as a nonsectarian college preparatory school for boys. It opened for boarders and received its first students in 1894. It was part of a system of schools that began with kindergarten and extending through high school that was collectively known as the Jacob Tome Institute.
At Jacob Tome's death in 1898, he endowed the school such that in 1902 it is recorded to own both extensive buildings and to have a residual endowment of over $2 million. One of the results of the endowment was that between 1898 and 1902 the Jacob Tome School for Boys built a series of granite buildings on the bluffs above Port Deposit, overlooking the Susquehanna River. Architects William Boring and Edward Lippincott Tilton designed the structures in the beaux arts style. The 13 surviving buildings include Memorial Hall, three dormitories (Jackson, Madison, and Harrison), the Chesapeake Inn dormitory and dining hall, the Director's residence, the Monroe Gymnasium, and six Master's cottages. The tree-lined streets of the campus were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and converged at the steps of Memorial Hall. In the early 1900s Tome annually played football against Baltimore City College high school with neither school enjoying a competitive advantage over the other. For example: in 1903 the City Collegians beat Tome 5-0, 1904 an 11-8 win for City, but in 1912 Tome shut out City 32-0 and Tome blanked City again in 1915, 37-0. The school enjoyed a prestigious reputation for a number of years. Its students included R. J. Reynolds, Jr. (son of R. J.
Reynolds) as well as children of the Mellon and Carnegie families.The school property and buildings were designated a National Historic District in 1984.The Tome School for Boys possesses significance in national architectural, educational, and military history covering the period 1900 to 1974. The architectural significance of the school centers on the site plan and Beaux-Arts-influenced Georgian Revival style of the buildings designed by the firm of Boring and Tilton in 1900. This firm had just received international recognition, winning the Gold Medal of the Paris Exposition of 1900 for its design of the U.S. Immigration Station, Ellis Island, New York. The architecture of Tome School embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Beaux-Arts movement which flourished from about 1890 to 1930. The monumental scale of the buildings, their symmetrical facades, the elaborate ornamentation derived from English Renaissance and American Colonial Revival sources, and the axial site plan are the main elements of the movement present in the Tome School. The School is significant in national educational history for its association with James Cameron Mackenzie, the planner of both the Tome School and the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.The Lawrenceville School of 1882, upon which the Tome School plan was based, was the prototype of the non-sectarian college preparatory boarding school which proliferated in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, the Tome School is significant in military history as the location of the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) from 1943 to 1974, excepting the years 1949 to 1951. The NAPS, the third oldest school in the U.S. Navy after the Naval Academy and the Naval War College, prepares enlisted candidates in the Navy and Marine Corps for admission to the Naval Academy. The NAPS was located in the Tome School buildings for a total of 29 years covering a period of three major wars, during which the school played a continuing role in providing naval leadership for those conflicts