Archived Story

Last vestige of Thorsby Institute still stands

Published 4:59pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In 1918, the girls’ dormitory of the institute burned down. Then, in the late 1940s and ‘50s, the number of boarding students, both male and female, began to decrease.

“After World War II, they did not have as many students as they had before, and the other schools were getting activities,” Sutlive said. “There were better schools coming along.”

From the well-worn wood, complete with student carvings, to the plate-glass windows and wallpaper, the house retains most of its original features.

“I didn’t cover up a lot of things in the house,” Sutlive said. “I’ve never modernized it that much.”

Sutlive inherited the house from her parents, who bought it after they got married in 1929.

Her father taught Latin, science and history at the institute for 10 years.

“My dad always loved this place,” she said. “This is the first place he lived, so it’s always been special to us.”

It was also special enough for a former student to visit Sutlive and ask to tour the house where he and his roommate had carved their initials in an upstairs bedroom years ago.

Sutlive plans to sell the house eventually and move out, but she doesn’t want the end of her tenure to mean the end of one of her town’s historic landmarks.

“I’ll hate to move away,” she said. “I’m hoping somebody will get it and continue on.”

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