Foster Township School
                badge, 1941

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History of Freeland, Pa.
Gallery of Freeland area school images

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 Daniel Coxe Memorial School 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:
Daniel Coxe Memorial School Daniel
                  Coxe Memorial School Daniel Coxe Memorial School

DCM School, ice storm 1914 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.

Freeland High
                  School Freeland High School Badge Freeland High School Freeland
                  High School Badge The Freeland High School building 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.

FHS banner
                  1912 FHS banner
                  1935 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."

Foster Township High
                  School Woodside School Foster 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 this page.

Foster Township High
                  School Foster
                  Township High School

The 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."

                  banner 1931 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."

Mining & Mechanical
                  Institute Mining & Mechanical
                  Institute in Birkbeck building 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, shown at near left in a photo courtesy of the Standard Speaker. A new school building, shown at far left, was completed in late 1902.

MMI gym Mining &
                  Mechanical Institute 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 the gym.

Mining &
                  Institute board of 1902 Mining &
                  Institute board of 1903 Here are photos of the Board of MMI from 1902 (left) and 1903. I wonder where the informal portrait at left was taken? Wish we had names for these men. The photographs come to us courtesy of MMI.

Girls' Loyalty Club 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 Girls'
                  Loyalty Club 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."

St. Ann's Parochial School St. Ann's
                  Parochial School 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.

St. Ann's School, color postcard, reversed image Well, some time ago Charlie Gallagher had suggested that the familiar color postcard is an inadvertent reversal of the original photograph. Now he has followed up with this note: "The image was inverted on the postcard. This is how it should look. Remember, I once told you that most postcard pictures were made from slides and not prints. Put the slide in backwards, you have a reverse image! You can see the the house is still there on the southwest corner of Ridge & Chestnut, the porch is now enclosed." He added a Google maps link, which shows a 2015 photo taken from the intersection of Centre and Chestnut streets looking west, and the house shown in the postcard is visible at back left of that photo. Thanks, Charlie!

St. Mary's
                  School, 1941 St. Mary's
                  School, 1949 St.
                  Mary's School 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.

St. Mary's School

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.

Jeddo School Sandy Run School Former Drifton School, Hazle Township There were numerous other small schools in Freeland and the surrounding area. Shown here are the Sandy Run School (right), the Jeddo School (center), and the former Drifton School(left). Charlie Gallagher notes that the Drifton School "later was Jamers Apparel in the late 1960s and early 1970s; workers sewed mattresses there. John Maranki was a co-owner of the business when it started. The building is now privately owned." Other photos will be added here as I find them.

7 Foster Township
                  schools 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.

                  School Eckley School Eckley School and
                  Immaculate Conception Church

Two more photos from the newspaper article: Foundryville School on the left, and Ripples School at right.
Foundryville School Ripples School

And here are the last two photos from the newspaper article: Sandy Run School on the left, and Sandy Valley School at right.
Sandy Run
                  School Sandy Valley

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 the following three photos. The rightmost photo seemed particularly poignant to me. I don't know if it's still there now.

                  Valley School, 2012 Sandy
                  Valley School, 2012 Sandy
                  Valley School, 2012

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.

Upper Lehigh School Upper
                  Lehigh School foundation stones

And finally for now, three photos of the old Woodside School, again possibly from the same photographic series, thanks to the Freeland Historical Society.

Sandy Valley
                  School, 2012 Sandy Valley
                  School, 2012 Sandy Valley
                  School, 2012

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