On this site Nicholas Marcellus Hentz conducted a girls’ school. Native of Metz, France, Hentz was a painter, entomologist, author, and was once a professor at University of North Carolina. Experimenting with silkworms, he planted groves of mulberry trees around this section of town. His wife, Caroline Lee Whiting Hentz, native of Massachusetts, assisted in the academy. She also wrote plays, poems, stories, popular novels, and a significant diary of her years in Florence.