Archive for April 18, 2009

Lorain High – Going Going

Update: Lorain County Photographers Blog and Mark has some “photos that are keepers”

Soon to just be a memory on an old 1909 postcard – found at

Another “bricks and mortar” link to Lorain and her “history will soon be gone and you are invited for ‘One last look”That will be on Saturday, May 2nd from 12 until 4. There will be refreshments and raffles of Lorain High memorabilia
The History of Lorain High can be found at the following link

In 1873, the community was officially incorporated with the name “Lorain”, and Benjamin F. Bellows became Lorain’s first superintendent. He and Miss Kirkbridge constituted the entire teaching force until 1874 when Miss Hannah E. Burkett became the third member of the faculty.

In 1875, Miss Mehitable Ayers was added to the growing list of instructors and Lorain High School was officially established. Superintendent John R. Rogers, an Oberlin College graduate who held his post from 1877-1881 and 1882-1888, established what became the first two-year course of study at the high school.

On Friday, June 6th, 1879, at First Congregational Church, the first class of high school graduates received their diplomas. There were two boys and one girl in that class:

Edward J. Bullock
Elvadore R. Fancher
Abigail M. Reid

The program for the graduating exercises consisted of an oration by Mr. Fancher called “Improve Your Chances”, an essay by Miss Reid entitled “A Plea for Common People”, and an oration by Mr. Bullock called “Shams”. The address was given by Professor J.M. Ellis.

Mrs. Loomis McConnaughty was named principal of Lorain High in 1883, and by that time, a third year of study was added to the high school course. That same year, a school board issue to raise $5,500 to build a south wing for the school passed by a vote of 39 to 5. In 1888, a fourth year was included in the curriculum. The class of 1889 was the first to incorporate the custom of having a class color. It was also the first class to announce the commencement exercises by invitation, and the first to have students present the graduation speeches. The class of 1890 added a second color to the one selected by the previous class. In 1894, Lorain High’s first year of physical education classes saw them lose all three games in its football schedule. Future Navy Admiral Ernest J. King (the namesake of Admiral King High School) graduated from L.H.S. in 1897. ………..

The ground upon which Lorain High stands was purchased from Milton Carey Poet who was born a “slave” ( great uncle to Darlene Brown)

“Mr. Poet also owned the farmland upon which stands now the “old” Lorain High School until 1870 when a site at 602 Washington Avenue was purchased for $2000 and a four-room, two-story brick building was completed …”

The Hosts of “More than a Building”

Black River Historical Society
Lorain Sports Hall of Fame
Lorain City Schools

have put together the following:

A Lorain landmark will soon fade from view and become only a memory.
Lorain High School was dedicated on May 12, 1916. On May 2, 2009 the community will have one last opportunity to gather and say farewell to a building that has served thousands of Lorain’s youth for almost 100 years. I

t was Lorain’s only high school until 1961. The final high school graduation was in June1995. The building was then renamed Lorain Middle School. Lorain Middle closed in June 2005.

Construction of the south wing began in 1911 and opened in 1913. The original high school was then torn down and students occupied the newly constructed south wing. The entire building was completed for the 1916-17 school year.

Over the years the original building has had many additions and renovations. In 1931 a new gym and cafeteria were added. In 1939 an addition known as the “Arts Building” opened. In 1962 the 1931 gym was replaced with a new gym that faced Hamilton Ave. and in 1970 the 1931 cafeteria was replaced with a new one attached to the south wing of the building. Construction had come full circle ending at the exact spot it had begun 59 years earlier.

There are other interesting facts connected with the building. The “Yellow Brick Road”, built in 1931, covers the 1916 gym. The road led to the 1931 cafeteria and was lined with sports photos dating from 1896. Copies of the photos will be on display on May 2nd.

Many former students will remember the rifle range also located below the “Yellow Brick Road”. It is unclear as to when the range was no longer in use. However, rumor has it that targets still hang in the range. Back when LHS had a rifle club members brought their rifles to school on days the club met and placed them in the principal’s office until meeting time.

Some believe the building is haunted by resident ghosts that prowl the building at night. Custodians have reported strange noises coming from locked classrooms. When doors were unlocked and classrooms entered nothing that would cause the noises was found. This may not be as strange as it seems for death was no stranger to the building.

In 1918 Lorain was visited by the worst world-wide pandemic of the 20th Century. “The Spanish Influence” shut down the city and, because the hospital was full, Lorain High was used as a hospital with more than 100 patients being cared for. The Lorain death toll climbed to 200 and some of those deaths occurred in the high school.

In 1924, following the “Lorain Tornado”, the school was used as a temporary morgue. It was to that morgue families came to identify their loved ones. So to say that the building is haunted might just be true. Perhaps once the building is gone the spirits of by gone days will at last be set free to “Cross Over”.

Thousands of Lorain’s youth have walked the halls of Lorain Hi and Lorain Middle. They have taken with them memories of the building and their experiences in it. They have gone on to make the world a better place.

The May 2nd event is free and will begin at noon and end at 4:00pm. Limited areas of the building will be open for touring. The Black River Historical Society and The Lorain Sports Hall of Fame will have displays and refreshments will be available. Free drawings for building memorabilia will be held every half hour. All who attend will receive a memento to take home. Please plan to join us on the May 2nd and meet old friends, former classmates and teachers, and maybe, just maybe, a ghost.

Your hosts,
Black River Historical Society
Lorain Sports Hall of Fame
Lorain City Schools

April 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm 3 comments

Bishop replies -“Form”-ally


Charleston Village and myself received a reply ( well sort of) to our letter found here

Here is the letter received April 17th -2009 Click on the enlarge

Our letter invited the Bishop to come to our neighborhood to see the impact closing St. Mary’s would have.

We would be extremely pleased to be able to talk to you about the impact of closing St. Mary’s on this area and would like to invite you to meet with us here in Lorain’s original neighborhood so you can see first hand how not only parishioners but people of all denominations will be effected by losing such a great neighbor

We spoke about the history and touched upon the “social services”.

I believe our letter wasn’t read but we received a “form” letter .

I suppose we could write a letter to the “Congregation for the Clergy” as to being dissatisfied with the response- I wonder if they would “read” it?

I don’t think the Bishop “having carefully considered the reasons for your appeal” carefully considered our letter at all.

I would summise and speculate that Bishop Lennon never even read the letter otherwise he would have declined an invitation not an appeal?

April 18, 2009 at 9:45 am 5 comments



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April 2009