Monday, April 2, 2012

Linton Hall School -- today

I've written a lot in this blog about my experiences during the 1960s.

Today’s Linton Hall School is far different from the boys’ military boarding school that LHMS alumni knew. Now coeducational, and neither military nor boarding, and admits children as young as Pre-Kindergarden through its "little Sprouts" program.
Linton Hall appears to be a far better place for its students. Having had only limited contact with current students and recent alumni, I am not in a position to draw too many conclusions, but it appears to have eliminated the negative aspects of its past while keeping its strengths, primarily academics and outdoor activities in what remains of its formerly vast landholdings, the major part of which were sold many years ago to developers. It appears that a lot of credit for the positive changes should be given to Mrs. Liz Poole, the current principal.

The outside of the school building and its immediate surroundings look quite similar to the school I remember from years ago. Window units for air conditioning have been added to the dorms (one of which is now used as a library, which is equipped with colorful and comfortable bean bag chairs) and the windows in the classroom wing have been replaced. The pool, tennis court and canteen are still there, as is the windbreaker wall behind which some of us hid when we were forced to march in the cold. The arsenal, however, is gone, as are the cannons near Linton Hall Road. The former parade field is now being used as a playing field.

What has undergone radical change is the surrounding area. Linton Hall Road is now lined with houses and townhouses. Across from Linton Hall and near the Commandant and Bill’s former homes, which have since been sold to new owners, there is now a strip shopping center with a Safeway supermarket and other stores. At the intersection of Linton Hall Road and Route 29, where there was once just an Esso gas station and a diner, there is now a huge shopping mall. As the population of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has expanded, many people now live in the Bristow, Haymarket and Manassas areas, and traffic reports on the radio routinely mention those places. Traffic between that area and D.C. during rush hour is typically horrible.

I would like to hear from current students and recent alumni (anyone who attended the school after it stopped being an all-boys, military, boarding school.)

I'm especially interested in your thoughts about whether rules are reasonable, fairly enforced, and whether punishments for breaking rules are appropriate. Feel free to comment about other aspects, too. And please give examples to support your views.

It would be helpful if you could also say for what grades you attended Linton Hall School, and how LHS compares to other schools you've attended.

Of course, parents and teachers are welcome to comment too; please mention this fact when posting.

Please do not use names -- yours or anybody else's.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright 2012 by "Linton Hall Cadet."
Please respect copyright by linking to this post instead of copying and pasting.
This blog is not affiliated with Linton Hall Military School and all opinions are those of the author.
Comments are always welcome; please do not use your name or names of others.


  1. I am a graduate of Linton Hall, class of 2008 and I find your blog a bit amusing. The school is nothing at all the way you describe it. The physical building is much the same, only painted in some hideous colors (intended to brighten the halls). The school lunches are still terrible but Mrs. Poole is an awesome principal and we still had a few of the Sisters teaching -- Sister Patricia Ann, Sister Mary Patricia. Sister Micki did after school care and wasn't very nice. The others were fine. Sister Cecilia and Sister Andrea came down occassionally to talk with us and tell us about their history.

    After saying all that, parts of the school do still make me think of a prison, especially the stairwells. There are also some pieces of creepy icon artwork around. So I can see where it might have been a tough place to be in the 60s and 70s. But in the 00s, it was pretty nice!

  2. Thanks for writing! I am very happy that the school is no longer the way it was and has changed for the better.

    What's unfortunate is that there is no reason why it had to be that way in the past; it could have been just as good back then as it is now. The only exception is that it would have still had to be a boarding school, since back then the area was very sparsely populated. But the boarding aspect has both posite and negative sides -- sure it would have been nice to go home every day, but it was also nice to get to spend a lot of time with kids my age.

    If the school had been the way it is now, except for being a boarding school, I wouldn't have needed to write this blog.

  3. I sent my daughter to Linton Hall for Kindergarten in 1992. We had just moved from NY and I found the school in the yellow pages. I was looking for a school that would enroll my daughter in kindergarten at 4 years old since she didn't make the cut off for kindergarten in the county schools. They made me drive down from NY to test her before they would enroll her but they did take her. I got the feeling that they would have taken her no matter how she did on the test because they needed students, but I was ok with that. There were only 8 children in her class. She seemed to enjoy it there but in hindsight she was so young that she didn't really know any better. My son came with us when we took her for testing and he refused to go there. He would have been in 2nd grade. He cried and cried and said the place was scary and he wasn't going. To this day (He's 27 now) he said something about the place just never seemed right to him. He even refused to go to any events there. I never had any problems except I too once had an erie feeling about the place. I volunteered once to watch the kindergarteners during their nap time. I had never been up to the dormitory area before but that's where the younger children took their naps. As I sat there watching the little ones, I thought about the kids who actually had to sleep there night after night when it was a boarding school. It was a stark, cold room with cold tile floors and high ceilings. A strange feeling came over me. It was not a happy place. That I could tell. My daughter finished her year there but I chose not to send her back. I never saw any abuse or anything even questionable about how they treated the children. If I had read this blog before sending her there, I would have never enrolled her. The thought of all those unhappy young boys and how they suffered at the hands of those sadistic nuns makes me angry. Children are gifts from God, to be loved and cared for above all else. I myself witnessed abuse at the hands of nuns in a catholic parish school as a child. At least I went home to my loving family every day. I can still remember how afraid I was and how I became shy and quiet so I couldn't get in trouble. My children have turned away from the Catholic Church, even though they have been raised Catholic and went to Catholic Schools. Does that say something? I think so.
    The sins of the past may have stopped, but the hurt it has caused continues to influence the future.