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Bacon Academy

By TINA BACHETTI | Hartford Courant HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: The academy in Colchester is named for its benefactor, Pierpont Bacon. Born in Middletown in 1723, Bacon became a successful farmer, eventually owning more than 800 acres in Colchester and a dozen slaves. When the frugal Bacon died in 1800, he left $35,000 for the creation of an academy -- partly to keep his relatives, whom he disliked, from inheriting his estate. The three-story brick academy opened in 1803. The academy now serves as Colchester's public high school, with nearly 1,000 students enrolled. WRESTLE MANIA: In 2010, PJ Mickens won the individual state open wrestling title, a first for the school. Also in 2010, the Bacon Academy wrestling team won its first Class M title and repeated in 2011. In 2011, the team also won the state open championship, breaking Danbury's decade-long streak. NOTABLE ALUMNI: Stephen F. Austin, known as the "founder of Texas;" William Alfred Buckingham, governor of Connecticut (1858-1866) and U.S. senator from Connecticut (1869-1875); Lyman Trumbull, U.S. senator from Illinois (1855-1873) and co-writer of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery; and Morgan G. Bulkeley, the first president of baseball's National League (1876), president of Aetna Life Insurance Co. (1879-1922), mayor of Hartford (1880-1888), governor of Connecticut (1889-1893), and U.S. senator from Connecticut (1905-1911).