As the crow flies, you can reach it in forty five minutes to an hour from Reno, but driving the winding mountain roads up to Glenridge Academy nestled high in the Sierras usually takes the better part of two hours. You know you’re there when you come around Spirit Rock. So named for the old Indian legend regarding the ancestors of the original native American dwellers that are buried around there. As you look down to your right about 600 feet below, you can see the little campus almost hidden amongst the pines. From here it still takes you a good fifteen minutes to descend down the narrow roadway and through the massive wrought iron gates to the main building. As you pull up in front you can’t help but stare for a moment at the enormity of this old brick structure. It was built back in the late 1800’s by a group of Virginia City silver miners as a vault of sorts because of it’s impenetrable walls.
Later abandoned, it and the grounds on which it stands were purchased by a wealthy Pennsylvania family with four daughters. Wanting only the best in education for his children, the patriarch of the family started an all girls academy and as it grew in size, it’s reputation did as well. Soon well-heeled families from all over the country were sending their daughters here to the mountains for their education. It began as simply an elementary school, but as his daughters grew so did the academy until it included high school and several more buildings. Dormitories were constructed to house the many out of the area students. For many years the Glenridge Academy came under pressure to become a co-ed institution, however the descendants of the original founder held fast to his desires that it remain an all girls’ school. Finally in 1978, the Board of Directors were forced to put the growing requests to a vote. Unanimously, Glenridge Academy became a co-educational institution and grew even greater in reputation and size. Every year or so it seemed that there was something new being added to the campus. Sports fields, new a building for laboratories and classrooms, tennis courts, the campus was a shining example of higher academe. And now in 1990, the main building, a rambling brick edifice over 100 years old was finally being restored to its original condition and listed among the states historical buildings. And with this milestone came something more horrifying than anyone could have ever imagined…
GOOD MORNING Glenhaven, this is your 6 am wake up call. The suns shining and you're gonna be late for work if you don’t get those lazy bones outa bed and head for the shower. Here’s a tune from the 70’s that ought to get you moving….…Emma’s eyes opened wide with a start. She’d been dreaming again, this time seemed so much more real than the last several times. In fact over the last several months she thought, they seemed to be escalating in detail more and more. The sheets beneath her were damp with perspiration. Why was she having these nightmares over and over. They began in her teenage years and as the years progressed they became more frequent and more vivid. Old houses, stores, streets she had never seen before and people with blank faces. It all seemed so real as though she had been there once. Yet, that was impossible since she had lived here in Glenhaven all of her life since early childhood when her parents moved here from New York. Her earliest memories were only of this small quaint town here in Connecticut. The places in her dreams however were definitely not of this town.
It was early spring of 1976 and all the things you hope for in a new season were taking place. Gardens were starting to bloom. People who had been kept mostly inside because of the weather were now out and about. Fishing poles and tackle were starting to show up on the shelves of old man Thompson’s Hardware store and I had taken up my usual place in front of that store on the porch relaxing in my favorite wicker rocker that had weathered some twelve years or so.Now I've seen a lot of strange things from my vantage point over the years but I guess I’d have to say that when the summer of 76’ rolled around, I along with a lot of other folks here in Toreville witnessed a real different kind of sweet, but strange happening.I guess it all began one afternoon when that old burgundy 47’ Plymouth drove past and turned down Main St. and parked in front of Ms.Gilton’s boarding house. Pretty little coupe she was. Obviously someone had put a lot of love into this restoration. Though the tires weren't original, from every angle it appeared as if it had just come off the showroom floor that very day.