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Museum to have birthday party

The Society is working towards a birthday party for its twenty years of the museum, on Oct. 5 in the afternoon. All are welcome. There will be light refreshments.

Please remember the Lawrence County Historical Walk will be Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. and last approximately until 8:30 p.m. Bring your walking shoes and flashlight.

Today we will talk about the school systems in Lawrence County.

During my first grade, I remember walking in the DT&I Railroad tracks with my teacher, who was a neighbor. I was going to school at the Lawrence Street School.

It was over a mile we would walk but we were used to walking to school. I attended seven years at this school before going to IHS. From that time we attended school from the eighth grade through grade 12 and we graduated in the first outside commencement.

We said goodbye to our friends of elementary grades and goodbye to the ninety-years old Lawrence Street School when it was dismantled. The school was the first in the system to be replaced. Whitwell was likewise to be entirely replaced. Lawrence Street School retained the air of the old school until the very end. It was the only building in the entire Ironton system that still had outdoor toilet facilities.

The first school in Ironton was organized in 1847, six months after the new town was named. Class was held in the Berdaine Blake house on Front Street. The next year a two-room school, the “Pioneer” was built at Fourth and Center streets. In 1851, with one hundred students enrolled, the first school board was established. In 1854 a twelve-room school “Union” became the first brick school in town. Also that year, West Ironton School was built. A new Central School was built in 1855, Lawrence Street School in 1867, Kingsbury in 1888, and Lombard in 1893. In 1910 the IHS (at Kingsbury) had 223 students enrolled, with a faculty of ten members. The average graduating class was composed of about twenty young men and women. The present high school was built in 1922. The Harold Conley Sports Center was built in 1975.

November 26, 1949, a new district was formed in Lawrence County consolidating Kitts Hill, Elizabeth and Upper school districts to be known as the Rock Hill Local School District. Hanging Rock and Kitts Hill High School became two-year high schools with the third and fourth years – going to Ironton or Pedro High School. South Point School District started in 1812 in a log building beside Solida Creek. Symmes Valley District was formed in late 1950 from Windsor Local and Mason Aid Local school districts. This is where the “Waterloo Wonders” claimed their home. Magellan Hairston was the coach for this well remembered basketball team. Fairland Local School was the first school located in the Rome area and was made of logs with a dirt floor. In 1879 a four-room high school was built. The first graduating class was in 1893.

Ironton High School was where I graduated in 1950; this little girl who walked along the railroad tracks to the first grade to Lawrence Street School.

The information of the school districts was taken from the History of Lawrence County, Ohio 1990. This book is available for sale at the Lawrence County museum, which is open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.