Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Cardigan Stories

Our shared history is a mosaic built from individual experiences.

Every time someone in the Cardigan family reflects on their time at the School, we learn more about ourselves. We are delighted to share selections from the reflections and memories that we have gathered over the years, now part of the growing Cardigan Archives collection. Find our more about our community in these small windows into the past, which show how our diverse community is bonded through a shared Cardigan experience. We invite you to read this growing compilation of Cardigan stories, share your own reflection, or browse more resources from the Cardigan Archives.



What’s Your Cardigan Story?

Share a reflection, tribute, or memory
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Model Airplane Club in 1959-60

First Four-Year Boy

Fred Sgro ’61

Fred was the first four-year boy at Cardigan and was co-captain of Cardigan's first undefeated Varsity football team with Dale Irwin and Coach Thompson. One of Fred's most vivid Cardigan memories is Clancy's habit of banging his big knife on the kitchen counter to indicate to the boys that seconds were being served, and then sending those boys who had run to get their seconds back to their tables so that they could walk the next time. Fred also remembers flying model airplanes on the football field with Nick Wyeth.

Class Notes, Fall 1992

Bob Fahrner in 1973

Mentor Robert Fahrner

George Dunn, Faculty Member 1974-1977

“Bob Fahrner was my department head at Cardigan from 1973 to 1977. Fahrner was a character and I consider myself lucky to have had him as my first department head. Having done no theatre following college, he helped get me involved with the Canaan Players and I have been involved in theatre ever since.”

Class Notes, Spring 2002

Student band "The Satans" in 1966

Listening to The Satans

Sky Rains ’67

“I carry a distant fond memory with me of attending my first dance in the dining room at Cardigan and stumbling upon the first band I had ever seen. They called themselves ‘The Satans’ and there were two guitarists (no bass player) and the drummer, whose name was Sandy Ritchie. This began my long love affair with the drums, which became my passion and primary source of income from 1970-1995. I started by banging Ritchie Gillespie around on Sandy's drums whenever I could down there in the basement of the Chapel (much to the dismay of Rev. Art Broadhurst, the school chaplain at the time).”

Class Notes, Spring 2007

Ted and Dolly Peach in 1950

Memories of the Peaches

Stuart Kaplan ’47

Stuart remembers with fondness springtime canoeing on Canaan Street Lake, trips to the mountains and occasional trips to the movies with Ted and Dolly Peach, with rides back in the school truck made enjoyable with singing and laughter. He also remembers the wonderful evenings in the Peach's apartment when he and the other boys would enjoy listening to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue on 78 rpm records.

Alumni Spotlight, Midyear 1996

Faculty member Donald Thompson in 1962

Coach Thompson

Bill Major ’62

Bill recalls the World War Two stories of French teacher and football coach Donald Thompson. Mr. Thompson demanded the most and he got it, including an undefeated year in football during Bill's senior year. Bill recalls that Mr. Thompson made you know he knew who you were. And, like the other Cardigan teachers, Mr. Thompson challenged students to do their best.

Alumni Spotlight, Fall 1998

Fall Forestry Club in 1962-63

Forestry Club

Bruce Marshard ’64

Bruce recalls his forestry club and working with draught horses clearing The Pinnacle. His love for woodworking grew during his time on the point, when he had the opportunity to build two boats in the Williams Workshop.

Alumni Spotlight, Summer 1996

Rope tow in 1957

Building the Rope Tow

Toby Kravet ’56

"I clearly remember having helped install a rope tow on the gentler gradient of 'Clancy's Hill.' Under the direction of Don Stowe and others, we who planned to ski that winter helped to build a crib on the crest of the hill to hold the car in place. Posts were somehow buried in the ground going down the hill, and pullies and a line were strung. I also remember my tan-colored rope-tow mittens with an extra, double-stitched, leather strip across the palm to enable them to better withstand the accumulation of damage from slowly tightening one's grip on the moving rope." 

Class Notes, Fall 2008

Clancy butchering in 1950

Butchering at The Lodge

David Cheever ’52

David remembers having pigs that chef Richard Clancy would slaughter in the basement of the original school building on Canaan Street. The boys were allowed to watch the butchering but not the kill.

Class Notes, Spring 2010

Faculty member Dan Fleetham in 1948

Skiing with Fleetham

John Oddy ’49

John fondly remembers Dan Fleetham working in his shop and joining him for an afternoon ski through the woods after a fresh snowfall.

Class Notes, Fall 1992