Geneva Lake Museum to Honor Military Academy

Thanks to loans and donations of artifacts from alumni and St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, the Geneva Lake Museum welcomed a new permanent exhibit in fall 2017.

As a fixture on the south shore of Geneva Lake until it merged with rival St. John’s Military Academy in 1995, the Northwestern Military and Naval Academy produced “a lot of great men,” says Janet Ewing, the museum’s director of administration.

“It was an integral part of our rich history,” Ewing says. “If you look at any maps through the decades, they always include Northwestern Military and Naval Academy. It was a huge landmark, it was a part of the community, and we felt bad that we did not have a real exhibit to honor its place in history.”

Some faces that emerged from the school include Curtis Roosevelt, the grandson of Eleanor and Franklin; actor Spencer Tracy, who did not graduate; as well as a number of other successful businessmen and politicians.

“It really provided young men a wonderful education, and there were many affluent people in the area on the board of directors, as well,” Ewing says.

The exhibit will feature two Louis Grell murals that resemble the originals at the academy facility; an oil painting completed by John Ross Key, the grandson of Francis Scott Key; the Simeon B. Chapin cutter trophy on loan; bronze-cast sculptures from Chiurazzi Foundry; and other gifts given by graduating classes throughout the years.

Ewing says the exhibit wouldn’t have been possible without Larry Matelski and many volunteers.

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Author: atthelake

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