History and Heritage

Where Thacher began isn’t so far from where it is today.

Here, ambitious students take on challenging academics while learning a thing or two about resilience, grit, and living a balanced life under the wide open skies and rolling mountains of the Ojai Valley.

List of 2 items.

  • Trail to Ojai

    Sherman Day Thacher didn’t travel from Connecticut to Ojai with a school in mind. In search of a rejuvenating environment for his ailing brother, Mr. Thacher arrived with him in 1887 and developed a deep appreciation for the stunning landscapes and open, resourceful, and informal attitudes of Western life. When a New England friend asked Mr. Thacher to tutor his son for admission to Yale, he accepted—as long as the boy could come to Ojai for his lessons. The friend agreed, and in 1889 Mr. Thacher’s School was begun.

    But while his counterparts in the East were scratching their heads over what to do with the boys during blizzards and mud season, Mr. Thacher wondered only, “Which trail to take the lads on today?” He simply turned the mountains and meadows into a vast classroom without boundaries, one with limitless opportunities for lessons and growth. And the horses? In them he found some of his best teachers.
  • East Meets West

    Sherman Thacher’s education was decidedly Eastern, from his high school years at Hopkins Grammar School to his college days at Yale. Strict academic schedules, meat-and-potatoes classics taught by dedicated scholar-teachers, seated meals in coat and tie. Then and now, some of this stuck: students and faculty still sit down to formal, family style meals four times a week, and our curriculum, faculty, facilities, programs, and college placement are models for other schools around the country. But with the West as their backdrop, Mr. Thacher and his students forged a more expansive path, combining traditional academics with horses and mountain trails, inspiring resourcefulness, perseverance, and the conviction that some of life’s most lasting lessons are learned outside the classroom.

- Sherman Day Thacher

The aims of the place are thus in three directions: toward health and happiness, toward unselfish character, and toward accurate, thorough, and self-reliant habits of thought and study.

Founder

A coeducational college preparatory boarding high school
The Thacher School
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, California, 93023

Tel : 805-646-4377
Fax: 805-646-9490
Email: info@thacher.org