From 1855-1954, Hitchcock Free Academy was a high school, one of the first to offer a high school education for free, thus the word "free" in our name. Mr. Samuel Austin Hitchcock was too poor to afford to go to high school but he set off in 1812 with one borrowed dollar to make his fortune and indeed he succeeded, becoming one of the wealthiest men in Massachusetts by the 1850s.
Hitchcock closed as a high school in 1954 when Tantasqua Regional High School opened to meet the growing needs of the community. It reopened in 1956 as a community center, and serves over 20,000 participants annually. While much has changed since 1855, the core mission remains to serve community needs by enriching the lives of local residents in the arenas of education, recreation and culture.