Tilton School was founded in 1845 as a secondary school for boys and girls when both dormitory students and day students were accepted and about 76 boys and girls formed the first student body. Two buildings, a boarding house and a classroom building were built for the School in Northfield, New Hampshire, which is just across the Winnipesaukee River from the present campus. In the 1860s, a fire burned part of the school and forced relocation across the river, to the present campus. Several brick buildings were erected, to be replaced in the 1880s by Knowles Hall.
Over the years, Tilton School has served many purposes, which were always related to the needs of the times. It has been a coeducational boarding school, a boys' boarding school, a public school, a female college, a junior college, and a secondary school with both college and general courses.
In 1939, Tilton ceased serving as the local high school and became strictly an independent boarding and day school for boys. In 1958, the "general diploma" was dropped and only college preparatory courses were offered. In 1970, Tilton once again became co-educational.
To this day, Tilton School remains coed with a total of 250 students and growing. Students from around the world makeup this wonderful community on the Hill.
Honor our past, embrace our future.
Since the founding of Tilton School in 1845, we have remained true to our mission: challenge students to embrace and navigate a world marked by diversity and change. This means more than 170 years of fueling curiosity, igniting passions, and fostering a love for learning that allows teenagers to realize the power of their potential.
This transformational experience has always been rooted in our deep and meaningful relationships to bring out the very best in teenagers. Educating our students for a rapidly changing future is not a simple task and requires that we always seek to improve ourselves and our approach with our students.
We are entrusted with the intellectual and spiritual development of students as future leaders of an evermore complex and challenging world. In order to fulfill this responsibility, Tilton must continue to obtain the finest, most committed and caring faculty; develop the most innovative and effective educational programs; and maintain facilities that are essential to meet these goals.
- Board Member, Class of 1969