The Shipley School was founded in 1894 by three sisters, Hannah,
Elizabeth and Katharine Shipley, to prepare students for their Bryn
Mawr College entrance exams. The Shipleys, strong-minded and
well-educated Quaker ladies, believed firmly in what was then a
controversial idea, education for women.
In the fall of 1894 the school opened with six students and nine
faculty members. The Shipleys' mission emphasized "mental analysis and
the training of a girl's mind to select, retain, and judge
information." In 1895, the main building on Yarrow St. was purchased.
In 1916 the Shipleys sold the school to Alice Howland and Eleanor
Brownell who became co-headmistresses. The Shipley School was
incorporated as a non-profit institution in 1932 and the first Board of
Trustees purchased the school, buildings and property.
The Shipley School Today
The original school house was purchased in 1895 and faced in brick in
1906. The building, though looking dramatically different, still stands
as the main administration building on the Shipley Upper School Campus.
In 1944 Alice Howland and Eleanor Brownell deeded to the school their
property at Youngsford and Waverly Roads in Gladwyne, "The Farm", which
formerly provided produce for the school kitchen, is now used as
athletic fields. In 1945 the school purchased for grades one to three
the house subsequently called Howland House at the corner of Roberts
Road and Wyndon Avenue. Beechwood, on the corner of Montgomery Ave. and
Roberts Rd. was added to the school property in 1956 and grades one
through three were moved to that location.
In 1972 the school admitted its first boys and 1982 saw the last
boarding students graduate. Since then, Shipley has been a
coeducational day school, now serving some 825 students in grades PreK