News & announcements
Saving your history
-:- Site map -:- Links -:- Print
resources -:- Contact
of Freeland, Pa.
Gallery of Freeland area school images
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.
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
Sophia 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."
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.
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.
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.
And finally for now, three photos of the old Woodside
School, again possibly from the same photographic series, thanks to
the Freeland Historical Society.
- Back to Schools page -Site contructed by C. Tancin.