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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wise as an Owl

Olney Avenue Grade School
Olney Avenue School, wise as an Owl was the school motto. Funny all these later how I remember that. I attended this school from K through part of the 3rd grade. It was a wonderful old school. It's the picture I see in my mind when someone says the word school. Funny how much smaller it is, then my memory of it. lol

In my mind I see large big steps going up to the big doors. Seems I have better pictures of this somewhere, I must find them; and if I can ever get my scanner working again...

This school was built in 1906. It had huge windows that actually opened! It had a boiler room where you went to bang out the erasers, or cut through to get to the bathroom on the other side of the building. We were all actually a little afraid of going to or through the boiler room. The building wasn't very old went it caught fire in 1914, on a cold winter's day 96 years ago. That's right, the fire was Jan 13, 1914 and it gutted the almost new building. Firemen worked through frigid temperatures to control the blaze with ice on their uniforms. Several received scalp wounds when portions of walls fell down around them. The fire was caused by a defective heating system, and due to oil on the floors spread rather quickly. (the floors were beautiful hardwood). 320 students who were then enrolled got several weeks off; no doubt they were happier than their parents. Another difficulty of fighting the fire was lack of water pressure in the fire hoses. The firemen really had a time of it.

This school had large cloak rooms, with 2 entrances. I have fond memories of a certain cloak room. Mark, gave me my first kiss in the cloak room. lol This school educated a large number of students. Many of my school friends' parents attended school here. Girls played on one side of playground while the boys played on the other. Things weren't co-ed back in the day. Sadly this cool old building was demolished in 2004. I wanted to go and tour the inside of it, never made it though and am sorry I didn't get to before it was gone.

The buildings are gone; but I still have memories of the building and the people. How bout you? Do you have memories of your school days?
Olney Avenue Grade SchoolMarion, Ohio Olney Avenue Elementary School
The black and white photo is the school prior to the fire, and the 2nd photo is shortly after being rebuilt after the fire.


  1. This school looks exactly like the school I attended when I was very young. Mine is still standing but has been converted into housing for the elderly.

  2. Your school reminds me of my old elementary school. Tried to find a photo on the web, but couldn't. It is still in use though and is still standing :)

    happy memories :)

  3. Ditto for me. I am reminded of the really old elementary school I attended. We moved later to new buildings, but I have always remembered that building. We called it the "old brick building" and there was a small library downstairs. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Nice memories and pictures. I don't think my elementary school had a motto...just a nice woods with fun paths behind it!

  5. they did a good job repairing it! Yes, it looks very similiar to the high school I wrote about (didn't go to school there...) Must have been something, no fire drill there... that's the real thing! {:-Deb


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