The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Schoolmates Of Yesteryear
Lucile Greene

The Highland schoolhouse of yesteryear was a one story two-room building located on the northeast corner of Highland Road [sic] and M-59 [Note 1].  The playground was large.  Part of the land belonged to A. D. DeGarmo but he let us kids use it [Note 2].  In the grove, east of the schoolhouse and near the railroad track we had playhouses with boundary lines marked with stones and pebbles.  At the west edge of the grove there was a narrow low strip of ground which was always full of water in the spring.  Sometimes it would freeze over and we could skate on it.  West of this was a steep hill and when covered with snow and ice it provided a wonderful place for coasting.

The room at the north end of the building was called the "Little Room."  Beginners, the chart class, and pupils in grades one to four inclusive were taught in this room.  Grades five to none inclusive were in the Big Room.

Year after year, for years, the question of building a new schoolhouse would be brought up at the annual school meeting.  And each time a well remembered board member would say "We don't need a new building, what we need is good teachers."  And he carried his point.

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The above picture was taken in May or June of 1906.  It was my last year at Highland and I should have been in the picture but instead of going to school that day I went to Milford to have some teeth filled.  I wasn't the only one absent.   Leo Kelly and Elaine Shaw should have been there also.

This was also the last year for J. G. Travis who taught in the Big Room five years.  Mr. Travis entered the Detroit School System the following September.

Pictures [sic] in the front row from L to R: Teeples, Ruth Leek, Josephine Keller, Ila Cole, Thorne Harris, Louie Fair, Lean Darline, Enos Leek, J.C. Leonard, George Rowley, Dewey Darling,  Sherman Robinson, Dwight Fisher, Franklin Leonard.

2nd row - Veve Rowley, ?, Ethel Fisher, ?, Marthina Robinson, Glen Darling.

3rd row - Edna Eddy (partly in picture), Eva Calkins, Nina Jones, Inez Newell, Hattie Rowley, Clara Parks, Jennie Lemon, Monica Kelly, Flossie St. John, Katie Seaver, Marjorie Vanderwort, Ferne Beaumont, Katie Potts, Gertrude Robinson, Gladys Darling.

Top row - ?, ?, Charles Needham, ?, Miss Mugridge, teacher in the Little Room, J.G. Travis, teacher in the big room, Carl St. John, Verne Leonard, Fred Leek, Don St. John, Virgil Rowley, Emmet Kelly.

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This item is taken from an undated newspaper clipping; possibly from the Milford Times.  Since the photograph accompanying the article was of poor quality, we have substituted this scan of the original photo. 

NOTE 1 - The school actually sat at the northeast corner of the intersection of Milford and former Spring Mills Roads.  The construction of M-59 in the late 1930's required widening of Spring Mills Road in front of the school, taking so much of the schoolyard that the site was deemed unsafe for further use as a school.

NOTE 2 - A. D. DeGarmo not only owned land adjacent to the school but also served on the Highland a/k/a Union School board.

See the Highland a/k/a Union School Photo Tour for more information.


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