The first St Paul’s School observatory was constructed in 1930 and was located in the field next to the Red Barn. It was used primarily by Lower School science classes and students interested in astronomy.

The October 22, 1930 edition of the Horae Scholasticae includes this information about the Observatory:

The Observatory given by Mrs. Edward Isham in memory of her son, Edward Pierpont Isham (1917-1921), has been completed. This gift has added a new and practical activity to our school life. Not only does it fulfill a long-felt need of the Astronomy department, but it provides interest to the many others who will wish to make use of it. . .

The site of the observatory was chosen by Professor Campbell of the Harvard Observatory staff.  The telescope is mounted equatorially and is free to turn parallel to the celestial equator around the polar axis.  The position of the star is determined by the settings of two graduated circles: the hour and the declination.  A small electric motor is used to keep the telescope fixed on a given star as it moves through the heavens.

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"Observatory." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 27 May 2024.