Michelle Ann Kratts

Archive for the ‘School Days’ Category

For the teachers…

In School Days, Village of Wilson, Wilson on September 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm

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A look back in time at some teachers from Wilson. 

“Days of Teachers’ Training Classes Recalled…

Niagara Falls Gazette

January 27, 1939

Memories of the turn of the century are recalled by the above picture, taken at Wilson high school some 38 years ago.  It shows the school’s teachers training class of 1890-1900, reminding “old timers” of the days when high schools did a job now undertaken only by normal schools and colleges. Standing from left to right are:  Miss Ethel Fitch, now Mrs. Howard Pease, of Wilson, Miss Ida Brandt, now Mrs. CB. Foster of Ransomville, Miss Henrietta Gaskill, now Mrs. Edward Messing , of North Tonawanda, Martin H. Schrader deceased, Miss Nellie Stevens of Wilson and Miss Laura Baldwin deceased.  Seated from left to right are:  Miss Don Cowan of Porter Center, Miss Lenora Mulholland, now Mrs. FM Campbell of Wilson, Miss Elvira Martin, teachers:  Miss ? Sutherland and Mrs. Roy Hewitt of Niagara Falls and Miss Nellie Bradley, who became Mrs. Arthur Loomis and is now deceased.” 

“So we began our search for knowledge…”

In Lewiston, Lewiston Interviews, School Days on June 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm

What was it like being a teacher in one of the only one-room schools in this part of the country back in 1949? Read about it in her own words as Edith Breckon, a former teacher at Hickory College, Lewiston, New York,  is interviewed by D. George Vanderhoek on April 25, 1975.

Edith Breckon Interview

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Trott Vocational School

In Niagara Falls, School Days, Yearbooks on April 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Busy at work at Trott Vocational School, early 1930’s.  Sam Carlo is the only individual identified on far right.

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St. Joseph’s School, Niagara Falls

In Niagara Falls, School Days, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Step back into the 1920’s with this photograph revealing a classroom at St. Joseph’s School in Niagara Falls.  The only student we can name is:  Sam Carlo (the arrow points to him).

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New Vintage Niagara Falls Yearbooks!

In Niagara Falls, School Days, Yearbooks on April 29, 2014 at 9:53 pm

A recent donation included five vintage yearbooks from Niagara Falls area schools.

Click on this link for an updated listing of all of the yearbooks on-site at the Lewiston Public Library:

Yearbooks and Alumni Directories in the Jon F Popkey Genealogy Room

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Niagara Falls High School; the Class of 1941

In Niagara Falls, School Days, Yearbooks on April 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

The Fifty-third Annual Commencement

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Lewiston High School in the 1930’s

In Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, School Days on August 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Lewiston High School

Recently I came upon some vintage Lewiston High School papers from the 1930’s.  There are so many familiar family names and stories of local interest.

Check out these digitized links to  “L.H.S. News Real”….Lewiston High School, 1931 and 1932.

L.H.S. News Real Oct 1931

L.H.S. News Real Nov. 1931

L.H.S. News Real Dec. 1931

L.H.S. News Real Dec. 18, 1931

L.H.S. News Real Feb 1932

L.H.S. News Real March 1932

Lewiston’s First School-House

In Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, School Days on August 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm

It is believed that the first school-house in Niagara County opened in Lewiston in 1806. A Scotsman, by the name of Watson, who had previously served in the British Army, taught school in an old log house that was also partially inhabited by a family. By 1807, Jonas Harrison took over as school master. He was also Lewiston’s first lawyer.

Unfortunately as the War of 1812 swept through Niagara, leaving much of Lewiston scorched, many of the citizens fled the scene. As they began to return and rebuild, a new school-house was erected near present day Center Street.  School District No. 1, town of Cambria, was formed in 1816.  On February 27, 1818, the Town of Lewiston separated from Cambria and became known as Lewiston.  It was decided at a meeting held at the infamous, Hustler’s Tavern, that the site of the stone building already “begun and intended for a school house…shall be and remain the site of the school house for District No. 1 in the Town of Lewiston.”

Some interesting facts about the school:

  • In 1820 it was voted to pay the teacher $16 per month and have him “board with each family in proportion to every scholar each individual family sent to school.”
  •  In 1824 it was voted to have two teachers; one man and a woman named, Miss Brown.
  • In 1827, the number of children of school age, 5-15 years, was 142 and the number in school was 95.
  • School was in session 12 months per year
  • School funds raised by tuition, taxation and an annual income from the ferry that worked between Lewiston and Queenston, Ontario
Lewiston's Old Brick School

Lewiston’s Old Brick School…As you can see from the newspaper photograph the old cemetery can be seen in the background.

The Lewiston Public Library has in its collection transcribed records of the original School Fund ledgers dating back to April 16, 1816.  The library also houses the original “Catalogue of Books.”  Please click on the link below to view the Catalogue of Books, 1874.

Catalogue of Books


Searching for some old friends…

In Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, School Days on August 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Recently, while cleaning out my files, I came across some interesting histories to share. And as summer comes to a grinding halt, it seems quite appropriate to tell the tale of Lewiston’s early schools.

But first…the story of the war refugee and his tie to our schools here in Lewiston…

Following the Second World War, F.  Janovsky, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, found himself in Germany in several camps for Displaced Persons. Many years later he came across something that triggered his memory and made him think of the kind children from Lewiston, New York. It was a photograph of the old Lewiston Union School. He never came here to visit, but he was forever grateful for all the nice things that had been sent to him and for what this photograph represented to him–the kindness of Americans.

Somehow, life ordered him off to Australia, and it was from this island nation that he sent a letter to Lewiston–along with the yellowed photograph–hoping it would make it to the old school (with special instructions to “please direct to town library” if the school was no longer in existence). And so this is how the Lewiston Library obtained this special heart-felt letter.

I don’t know for sure if anyone had taken him up on the offer to become “pen pals.” The letter was postmarked March 3, 1992. I was not a staff member at the time, so I am unsure of any details.   I have provided below a copy of the letter and the photograph. Perhaps some present day Lewiston students would like to try to send a letter to “F. Janovsky” of Australia.

Letter from Australia

Letter from F. Janovsky


Lewiston Union School

Lewiston Union School about 1949

Yearbooks are always fun….

In Amherst, LaSalle, Lewiston Public Library, Niagara County, Niagara County Resources, Niagara Falls, School Days, Yearbooks, Youngstown on June 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

LaSalle yearbook

Over the past few years the Jon F. Popkey Genealogy Room at the Lewiston Public Library has amassed dozens of vintage yearbooks. As all good genealogists know, a yearbook is a treasure to behold. Along with photographs, we can get a little glimpse into the everyday lives of the area in which our ancestors lived. There are histories of the schools and pieces about individual students and faculty members. Sometimes we get lucky and find even more. We hope you will consider donating yours (or thinking of us when you find them at yard sales). Thank you to Amy Wall for donating the LaSalle Junior and Senior High School yearbook from 1946. It is our first yearbook from LaSalle!

Below is a list of the yearbooks (and one alumni directory) we have on hand in the Genealogy Room:

Albright College (Pennsylvania) Alumni Directory: 1998
Amherst Central High School: 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1940
Bishop Duffy (Niagara Falls): 1963, 1964, 1965
DeVeaux School (Niagara Falls) : 1953
LaSalle Junior and Senior High School (Niagara Falls): 1946
Lewiston Union School: 1947-1950
Lewiston Porter: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986,1988, 1992, 1995, 1998
Niagara Catholic (Niagara Falls); 1984
Niagara Falls High School: 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940
Niagara University: 1963, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1999
North Junior High School (Niagara Falls): 1927, 1928
St. Bonaventure University (Allegany, New York): 1969

Come and check them out or contact us for lookups at: