YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, Adelbert Bowdoin, High School Principal
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian
Principal of Canton High School from 1924 to 1948, Adelbert Bowdoin (1880-1967) was beloved by students and staff. He was a graduate of Colby College in Maine where he was senior class president and a member of Phi Delta Theta. Before coming to Canton, he taught in Maine for three years and then served for nine years as principal of Black River Academy in Ludlow, Vermont.
Among other things, Bowdoin instituted courses in home economics, physical education, music and industrial arts. Over 800 students graduated during his tenure. He lived on Hill Street and was known to spend free time in his garden. Ten years into his stewardship, the high school moved from South Street in Collinsville to a new facility on Dyer Avenue (now Canton Intermediate School). In 1957, the new athletic field on Simonds Avenue (opposite the current high school driveway) was named in his honor.
Bowdoin was an active Mason. He died in a convalescent home.
Adelbert Bowdoin is buried just down the street from the high school in Southwest Cemetery, Canton.
“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.