The former Patterson School is nestled in a quiet mountain valley near Lenoir NC, about 20 miles south of Boone and Blowing Rock. The school rests on the former Palmyra Plantation which belonged to Samuel and Mary Patterson. They bequeathed their properties to the Episcopal Church for the purpose of establishing “an agricultural school” to develop the “fine minds of mountain boys”. Nineteen boys enrolled in September, 1909, and subsequent student bodies have risen as high as 200.
The school is situated on the Plantation’s 1400 acres. It is a special place that dates back thousands of years to the Native American use of the “Nickajack Trail” which extended from the Great Lakes to Florida and ran through Patterson. This early “highway” resulted in numerous Native American sites, “Indian Trees”, mounds and relics in and around the school property.
The American Colonial Era brought many notable Europeans to Patterson’s Happy Valley. Revolutionary War General William Lenoir, great grandfather of Mr. Patterson, once owned most of the Yadkin Valley where the school is located. The legacy of the Lenoirs and the Pattersons is woven tightly into the history of North Carolina and our nation. Samuel Patterson himself served North Carolina in many ways, including being the state’s first elected Commissioner of Agriculture.
The Patterson School Community is proud of its heritage and continues the commitment to the land and to society in the same spirit as those who have dwelt and toiled on these lands before us. When visiting the grounds, one is immediately imbued with the spirit of these pioneer settlers and the several thousand students and faculty who have contributed to what The Patterson School is today.
A Patterson education develops skills, knowledge, experience, and attitudes required for a student to get into the college of choice and to be successful and happy in his or her future life. Instrumental to this success is the development of seven qualities which form the foundation of a Patterson education: Knowledge, Reasoning, Integrity, Courtesy, Health, Creativity, and Versatility.
As the world has changed, so has the school, which is now a non-denominational co-ed college preparatory boarding and day school in the Christian tradition serving grades nine through twelve and one year post-graduate.