Central High School - Pnalka Yearbook (Springfield, MA)

 - Class of 1929

Page 9 of 100

 

Central High School - Pnalka Yearbook (Springfield, MA) online yearbook collection, 1929 Edition, Page 9
Page 9



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Tl1E BLUE AND WHITE .G Y A H1sToHY of the SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL 48.28 f1928 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 them. "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. 'G D' 'G7D'

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