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Marissa Academy, Marissa, IL

Before the Marissa Academy began in the fall of 1886, education in Marissa, IL, was limited to the elementary school grades. The community and church leaders felt that there was a need for a secondary education and thus the Marissa Academy, a tuition school, was organized in 1886. Upon graduation the students who attended this Academy were admitted to Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL without taking entrance examinations. Classes were held in various facilities until 1891 when construction of the Marissa Academy Building was started. Classes began in this facility that fall. This building is one of only a few left from that time period in Illinois. It was designed as a multi-purpose two-classroom building with a stage. The Marissa Historical and Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 245, Marissa, IL 62257-0245, was founded in 1969 and was incorporated shortly thereafter. The basic principles of the society are to foster the research of the family roots and to preserve and maintain historical records and cultural values for educational purposes. As part of the community Bicentennial project in 1975, the Marissa Academy Building was extensively restored. In 1976 the St. Clair County, Illinois, Historical Society recognized the Academy Building as a unique architectural structure and awarded it their “Landmark” plaque. The Southern Illinois Tourism Council recognized the Academy Building as a unique tourist attraction because of the Museum and Genealogical Library and in 1979 placed the facility on their tourism brochures for St. Clair County, Illinois. In 1994 the Marissa Academy Building was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in the United States of America. The only structure of its type, it still stands in the Marissa village park, 610 S. Main St., Marissa, IL, and is the home of the Marissa Historical and Genealogical Society. As the Marissa Academy Museum and Coal Miners Monument, it contains memorabilia celebrating the city’s growth from a coal-mining town to the present.



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