It's a little harder to find pictures of some of our schools,
particularly the smaller ones, than it is to find pictures of churches
or major street intersections. This page will grow as more school
pictures become available. If you have any school photos that you would
be willing to share copies of, would you please let me know? Thanks!
Daniel Coxe Memorial School was opened in 1896. The
black and white photo on the left shows the original school building.
In 1913 the school was enlarged to accommodate a growing student
population. The color picture at near left shows the larger school and
includes some landscaping. The school is now gone, and in its place is
a Senior Center.
Here are three more DCM postcard views:
This photo of DCM at right seems very evocative of
the wonderful silence that comes after a winter storm. These young kids
look like they're having so much fun out there! Everything has been
transformed by the snow and ice. The school is decorated with snow and
icycles. Even the trees look a bit like ballerinas. This storm came at
the tail end of a heavy year for winter storms in Freeland! The photo
came from John Zubach.
The Freeland High School building shown at right was
built in 1922, on property located at the intersection of Dewey and
Johnson streets. A green (not red?) felt sweater badge with a home-made
look is also shown here, dated 1935. In 1966 the Hazleton Area School
District was formed, and students from Foster Township and St. Ann's
High Schools were transferred to Freeland High. Freeland High School
was torn down in 1973. There is a 2-part photo of the class of
1931-1932 on the page of school group
photos, courtesy of Bob Zimmerman, as well as another class photo
from 1957, courtesy of Bill Smith.
Bob Zimmerman allowed me to photograph these two
Freeland High banners from 1912 and 1935. You see that the 1912
banner is red and white, and the 1935 banner is red and gold, while the
green badge shown above from the same year is not. I was confused about
that, but received an interesting email from Brett Lawler, who wrote: "During
the 1930's, it was popular for the senior classes to use a "class color
scheme" for their beanies, etc. ... I also have an usher sash from
HHS-class of 1933 that is red/white-the color changes were noted to me
by Jean Gormley, who was the president of the Hazleton Historical
Society, believe she died in 2008, she was also the captain of the
cheerleaders in 1942."
Township High School was opened in Woodside in 1912, joining the
elementary school that was already there. A new high school building
was built in 1936-1937. The nifty badge from 1941 shown at top left of
the page also comes from Foster. My dad's family lived in Upper Lehigh,
and although my dad went to Freeland High, the rest of his siblings
went to Foster for high school. The building is still standing today,
now occupied by Citterio's. The elementary school, shown at right in a
clipping from Ed Merrick, was torn down. As noted in that newspaper
caption, it was one of the oldest surviving school buildings in the
region. There are MORE VIEWS of the Woodside school further down on
sepia photo at far left comes to us courtesy of the Freeland Historical
Society. Ed Merrick sent the later color photo of the former Foster
Township High School, writing: "October 15, 1990 - every time I made a
trip north [later in my life] I made it a point of shooting places that
had been important to me as a kid. That's the entrance to the gym at
the left, where I used to go to dances when I was a student at MMI."
Bruce Machado sent this photo of a Foster banner
from 1931, and wrote: "I often spent part of my summers in the
1950s as a kid in Freeland and remember the Borough Hall, Refowitch
theater and the candy store/novelty store on Center Street. (Wooden
balsa toy planes with a steel nose-piece cost only ten cents.) My mother worked in that ice cream store on
Center Street as a teen, and I remember going to the A&P (on Front
Street, I believe). My cousins lived at
the east end of Walnut Street and attended the Reformed church a few
blocks away, where the minister was (still from the 1920s) George
Koehler. My cousin Niles is married to his high school sweetheart,
Helen Gale Oberrender. I will ask her if she is related to the Robert
Oberrender who was listed on you website as the patent holder of a work
cap! I'll send separately a pic of the Foster Twp HS banner/pennant
from 1931 with a slightly different crest than the one you sent in your
email. Perhaps you can cut and paste the pic for your website."
The Mining & Mechanical
Institute (MMI) was first opened in Drifton in 1879. After a
devastating fire in 1888, the school reopened in temporary quarters in
the Birkbeck Block on Centre and Main streets in 1893. A new school
building, shown at left, was completed in late 1902.
According to the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica, MMI was modeled after the German Steigerschulen,
with elementary and secondary departments and a night school for
workmen. The school was gradually transformed into a college
preparatory school, and has recently been greatly renovated and
expanded. At right are an MMI banner from 1935 and a postcard showing
Coxe, wife of Eckley B. Coxe, thought that some sort of extra education
was also needed for girls in the Freeland area. She founded an Industrial
School for Girls, which was later called The Loyalty Club or The Girls'
Loyalty Club. This was a bit like a finishing school, where local
girls could learn some of the 'womanly arts' such as various crafts and
needle arts as well as cooking and deportment. This building was later
donated by the Coxe Estate, in memory of Sophia Coxe, for a new
church that was being formed in 1937, Ss. Peter & Paul's Eastern
Greek Catholic Church. The building still stands today, although it has
been modified and expanded to accommodate the needs of the parish.
Charlie Reczkowski's sister attended classes there. So
did Tom Yaruso's aunt: "My aunt Verna Martonis from Highland who
arrived in America in 1906 went there to learn sewing, etc."
The original St. Ann's school and
convent were built in Woodside in 1883. A new St. Ann's Parochial
School and convent were built on Chestnut St. in 1929. After
serving the parish for many years, the high school closed in 1966, and
the elementary school closed five years later. Oddly, there's something
strange about the color postcard shown here. Doesn't it look like that
house in the background is really on Ridge Street, on the other side of
the school than where it's shown here, i.e., behind the
photographer? I might be wrong, but it looks confusing to me.
Another parochial school, St. Mary's Greek
Catholic School, was built on Fern Street. It is listed in a
borough directory in 1921. In 1984 a new parish center for St. Mary's
was dedicated on the site of the old school. There are also student
group photos from St. Mary's from 1896 and the early 1960s on the other
school gallery page.
The school had already been torn down and replaced with a
parish activities center building by the time I took this photo at
right, but I took the photo to show the little lot where we used to
play at recess and lunchtime. The upper part of the street in front of
the rectory and school was also blocked off with sawhorses during these
times so that we could play in the street.
There were numerous other small
schools in Freeland and the surrounding area. Shown here are the Sandy
Run School (right) and the Jeddo School (left). Other
photos will be added here as I find them. Tom Yaruso wrote in October
2013 to remind us of Highland School: "I see nothing on Highland
school in which I attended from 1942 to 1948, my mom attended 1919 to
1925, then attended Foster Township high school in Woodside building
before Foster Township high school new building built, I remember when
in I think 1946 or 1947 Eckley, Sandy Run and Ripples schools closed
and every one attended Highland school."
Since Tom Yaruso sent that note
about the Highland School, I was fortunate to visit the Freeland
Historical Society, where they allowed me to scan this undated
newspaper article and the photos that accompanied it, showing seven
village schools that were in Foster Township.
Here below from left to right are the Highland and Eckley
school photos that appeared in the article above, courtesy of the
Freeland Historical Society, along with another photo of the Eckley
School and the Immaculate Conception Church, courtesy of the Greater
Hazleton Historical Society. The Church is still standing, and the
school site is now the location of the Eckley museum.
Two more photos from the newspaper article: Foundryville School
on the left, and Ripples School at right.
And here are the last two photos from the newspaper article: Sandy
Run School on the left, and Sandy Valley School at right.
The newspaper article said that at the time of publication,
the only one of those seven schools that was still standing was the
Sandy Valley school at the crossroads. A few years ago Bob
Zimmerman was kind enough to show me that old school building, and I
took these photos. The rightmost photo seemed particularly poignant to
me. I don't know if it's still there now.
Here is a photo of the Upper Lehigh School from the same
photographic series, thanks to the Freeland Historical Society, and a
more recent photo of what's left of the foundation.
And finally for now, three photos of the old Woodside
School, again possibly from the same photographic series, thanks to
the Freeland Historical Society.