The Academy building was built by a stock company in 1817 to provide higher education, primarily for local boys. The lower floor was equipped as a school with college students, mostly from Yale, as teachers. There were similar academies nearby at East Windsor Hill and Ellington. Among the students here were Junius S. Morgan, later the father of banking magnate J. P. Morgan, and Yung Wing, who went on to become the first Chinese graduate of Yale and founder of a Hartford School for Chinese boys.
At various times, the upper floor was used for exhibitions, singing schools, lyceum panels, making clothing for the poor, and receiving the local veterans of the 25th Regiment after the Civil war.
In 1871, stockholders gave the building to the Ecclesiastical Society of the nearby First Congregational Church, which used the lower floor for prayer revival, and social meetings. In 1889, the Grange began using the upper floor for its meetings. In 1896, the town started renting the lower floor for grade 1 and 2 students in District 1. Other grades were added as enrollment grew, and the second floor was later used for upper grades.
With declining enrollment in rural schools and a move to more centralized buildings, there was pressure to lose East Windsor’s district schools. When the 1938 hurricane caused heavy damage to elementary schools in Scantic, Windsorville, and Melrose, the students were consolidated into lager newer facilities in Warehouse Point and Broad Brook.
The Ecclesiastical Society later rented the building as a dwelling and, in 1946, sold it to L. Ellsworth Stoughton, a board of education member who converted it into two apartments for local teachers.
As founding president of the East Windsor Historical Society in 1966, Mr Stoughton made the second floor of the building available for use as a museum of local history. Upon his death in 1992, he bequeathed the academy, grounds, and a private water company to the Society. Since 1995, Society members have raised and spent over $100,000 to restore and improve the building for use as museum. It is also on the Connecticut and National Registers of Historic Places.