[C.1880s Albumen Photograph of Cadets at Cayuga Lake Military Academy, Aurora, New York].
One cadet pictured appears to have subsequently graduated from Cornell University, Class of 1892, and was later a veteran of the First World War
Photograph of a group of military cadets in uniform at Cayuga Lake Military Academy in Aurora, New York. A drum head or shield in the background, hanging above crossed swords, identifies the school.
A contemporary note accompanying the photograph identifies one of the cadets: “Walter Douglas Young, Cornell [University, Class of 18]‘92,” but does not specify his place in the photo.
We tentatively identify him as Major Walter Douglas Young (1870–?) of Baltimore, Maryland.¹ Young was born in Aurora, New York, educated in grammar schools there, and earned his B.S. from nearby Cornell University in 1892.
Young worked as an electrical engineer for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and was president of The Electromechanical Company in Baltimore. His military service included stints in the Maryland National Guard’s signal corps and coast artillery. During the First World War he was commissioned as a major in the Engineer Corps of the United States Army.
The photograph shows eight cadets in uniform, the most senior of whom, in rank, is seated at a desk. This may well be a class or a cadet Staff/Support Company photo.
Japanese lanterns hang from the ceiling as do two very large American flags and a chandelier decorated with greenery. Hanging on the back wall is a martial panoply including drums, swords, and military caps as well as a rack of rifles with bayonets and dumbells.
“The original Cayuga Lake Academy (CLA) was founded in 1798 as a public school. The building was converted into a military academy following the proposition of Colonel J.C. Wright in 1882. The school existed for 18 years with Colonel Wright as principal of the Academy. ... Eight professors taught classes, which included Greek Science, Latin Elocution, and Military Tactics. Students attended the Academy from as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico and Cuba.”²
Description: [C.1880s Albumen Photograph of Cadets at Cayuga Lake Military Academy, Aurora, New York].
[Aurora, New York, ca. 1880s]. Albumen Photograph on mount. Image 6 x 8¼ inches; overall, 8 x 10 inches. A modern note accompanying the photo identifies one of people in the photograph. Wear to corners of mount; some staining not affecting image; otherwise, a very good, clear image.
Note. 1. Spencer, ed., Genealogical and Memorial Encyclopedia of the State of Maryland… (New York, 1919), p658. 2. Cayuga Lake Military Academy 1892 - Village of Aurora accessed online.