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Tl1E BLUE AND WHITE
A H1sToHY of the SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
vi-za one lmndred years ago, in Nlay,
1827, a committee of citizens recommended
"that the town build a schoolhouse of brick.
sixty-live feet by thirty feet, two stories
high, with a woodhouse underneath, and a
cupola and bell on one end, one school room
on each story, and the ground fenced ing
at a minimum cost of S2500." The proposed
building was completed in 1828, and a new
street, named School Street, was opened in
honor of the school.
After several weeks Story llebard. a grad-
uate of Amherst College, was chosen as the
first teacher. He taught until the school com-
mittee, thinking his salary of S750 a year
was outrageous, decided to decrease it. Mr.
llebard, angered by this injustice, resigned.
llis pupils objected strongly, but in vain. ln
retaliation t.hey resorted to annoying their
new teacher. David Sheldon. Taking advan-
tage ol' his unfamiliarity with names and
faces, they completely upset the system of
attendance, placed live hens in his desk,
and brought snakes to school. lle succeeded
in quelling their spirits temporarily with
birch switches, but soon gave up.
At. this time the pupils were divided into
several factions, always at war with each
ot.her. These groups were named according
to the sections where they livedg hence there
were the 'Streeters', the 'l1illers', the 'North-
cnds', the 'South-ends', and the 'Watershops'.
The following poem Inay serve to describe
"The 'Walershops' bo-vx were Irue and xleadv,
While the 'Soalh-end' boys were always ready.
The 'Norlh-end' boys were prompt Io action
And had desirex Io break lhefaclionx.
The boys from lhe neighboring towns,
Who kept aloof wilh air profound,
And did aol join Ihefriendly fray,
Slood aghasl,-and wen! their way."
lt was soon necessary for a school ollicial
to threaten them with the arrival of the
militia unless peace should be restored.
Needless to say, it was. -
After thirteen years of service, increasing
enrollment necessitated a larger building.
ln the early part of 18-tl, therefore, a build-
ing, which has been a grannnar school for
six years, was opened on West State Street
near the present Court house as the Spring-
lield lligh School. Except for its additional
size, this school was little better than its
predecessor, and at the end of seven years,
the people complained that it was insuflicient
for the needs of their large town. As a result
of their complaints, in 1818 a bigger and
better school on Court Street, was dedicated.
This new building was considered beautiful
and connnodious. Since the floors were of
polished hardwood, the pupils were obliged
to wear slippers in the schoolrooms. ln the
place of rough pine benches, were elegant
cherry-top desks at which two pupils sat.
In 1872, however, interested citizens de-
manded a larger building.
ln 187114. the school was once again trans-
ferred, this time to a new building on Stat.e
Street, on the present site of the State Street
Junior High School. At that time, the new
building was considered the acme of school
architecture. After twenty years, though, the
great mnnber of pupils overtaxed the seat-
ing capacity. ln 18911, the majority of the
freshman class had to be seated at the old
armory and jail east of the new building.
Overcrowding and the imperfection of the
ventilating and heating systems brought
Inatters to a headg plans were made for our
present building. '
ln 1897, the cornerstone was laid, and the
new building was ready for occupancy in
1808. The only other change was that of the
name. ln 1907, the Springfield High School
was rechristened the Central High School,
and unto this day that name has remained.