The Peekskill Academy opened its doors in 1837 to 47 students, both boys and girls. In 1841 the Academy decided to admit only boys. By 1857 the Academy had become the Peekskill Military Academy. After a long and illustrious history PMA closed its doors in 1968, citing a decline in enrollment and lack of endowment.
The school was situated on Oak Hill, which was once occupied by Continental troops during the Revolution. In this 1963 photo of the PMA grounds, you can see the tree known as the “hanging tree.” During the War for Independence, a British spy was hanged from its branches. The tree was taken down in 2006 after being struck by lightning. In 1887 the school song was written and dedicated to the students at PMA.