Harpeth Academy History
Harpeth Academy was named from the old Harpeth Academy of Franklin, founded in 1811. The old academy operated as an all-male school for 52 years before being forced to close when Federal troops destroyed it in 1863. A Presbyterian missionary, Reverend Gideon Blackburn, was the school's first headmaster. In 1821, James Harvey Otey, first Episcopal bishop of Tennessee, succeeded Reverend Blackburn.
Ground work was laid for the in the Fall of 1968 for the new Harpeth Academy, and community leaders raised funds to establish the modern Harpeth Academy as a private elementary school that would prepare children for the many excellent preparatory high schools in the area. The doors opened in September 1969.
As a private and independant school with governance from a self-perpetuating board of trustees. Ronald S. Ligon (BGA '55) was the chairman of the founding board and over the next many years, dedicated individuals followed in his footsteps, including Dr. Joe Willoughby, William Carter Conway, Holland N. Mills, R. Glenn Adams, James A. Charron, Joe White, Benny Williams, John C. Porter, and Joe R. Arnold.
A majority of students lived in Williamson County, and students from Davidson and Maury Counties also attended.
Acquired in 1998 by BGA, Harpeth Academy became the BGA Lower School and continued to provide a nurturing and loving environment, while laying the groundwork for future academic success, for those in Kindergarten through fourth grade. Over the years, the school, located on Franklin Road, has become a cherished tradition for those in the BGA community.