In November 1870, William A. Golding, an African American member of the Georgia Legislature, wrote the American Missionary Association (AMA) on behalf of the people of Liberty County requesting a teacher. "They want a teacher," he wrote, "preferably one southern born, but would accept any available instructor." In 1871, the AMA responded to the requests of the community. Eliza Ann Ward, a staunch abolitionist from Massachusetts who previously taught in both Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina, was sent to open a school in Golding's Grove. The school and church were locally called "Golding's Grove" because William A. Golding donated the buildings and the surrounding land. She established the Homestead School and it opened in January 1871. The school accepted students at all levels. Ward was astonished at the rapid progress of the students and their desire to learn.
Eleven students read well enough to be assigned to the Second Reader and Ward discovered others who were even more advanced. In August 1872, Eliza Ann Ward left Liberty County due to poor health. She continued to correspond with the people of Golding's Grove and collect clothing for them. Liberty County residents considered Ward to be not only an excellent teacher but an honorable woman as well. They requested her return because the school ceased to function in her absence.
The central academic building at Dorchester Academy was called Christian Endeavor Hall. It was given this name because it was constructed with contributions from the Young People's Societies of Christian Endeavor, a group associated with the American Missionary Alliance.
Dorchester Academy Marker (#2); Erected in 2004 by the City of Flemington.