The Bay City Times - Saturday, December 8, 1940.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: A comparison of the new and old Farragut school furnished the basis for the thirteenth in a series of stories relating to the history of Bay City schools. T.L. Handy Junior high school will be the subject of next's week's article.)
When the $186,000 monolithic concreate and glass brick Farragut school building was opened in September, 1939, it became the newest school in the city, and one of the most modern schools in Michigan. It is Bay City's only ultra-modern school of reinforced congrete, utilizing the utmost in glass construction. Upon its erection it relieve a serious safety problem by the removal of the most antiquate school in the city's educational system.
The erection of the new Farragut school left Eastern Junior High school the oldest building in the city and presenting the most serious current safety problem.
Feature Large Windows
Joseph C. Goddeyne, Bay City architect, designed the building with its two stories and expansive windows, which with the glass brick construction assure the maximum of light for the various rooms. In the building are 13 classrooms, a library, four auxillary rooms, and a combined auditorium and gymnasium, estimated to seat about 400 persons.
The opening of the new Farragut school made it possible to close the Sherman school, with pupils being absorbed at Farragut and other elementary schools. Ceremonies were held Oct. 20, 1939. Classes run through the seventh grade, and the school has an entrollment of 300 pupils. It can accommodate 400 students.
Although the new school building is one of Bay City's architectural highlights, the name "Farragut School" is not mentioned without recollection of the 70-year-old building which it replaced, a building which once was a high school, a training school for teachers, and containing "open-air" rooms conducted by the tuberculosis divisions of the Civic League.
The history of the old Farragut school is interwoven in that of the city, just as the new school is now making its own history for the recordance of future generations.
The cornerstone of the first Farragut building was laid May 8, 1868. The land was purchased for $4,400. (The cornerstone was removed July 7, 1938 in ceremonies attended by townspeople, school officials, former teachers and students.) (Nov. 22, 1938, a box containing mementoes and records was placed in the wall of the new building.)
The old building was of brick with stone foundation, gray stone trimmings and slate mansard roof. The upper floor had one large room throught the middle, with recitation rooms on the east corners, with two cloak rooms and two stair wells between them. The west end was similar for the wide stairway in the center.
Opened in 1869
The building was opened in 1869, with Prof. D.C. Scoville, superintendent and principal. The first class was graduated in June, 1872.
In 1877 a training school for teachers was established with Miss Kate A. Peck as the first principal. There were 10 pupils. When the training classes were begun, the entire building was in use, including the basement, and in the summer of 1878 a two-room addition was built at the north-west corner for seventh and eighth grade pupils. The high school department was moved in March 1882 and the summer of 1888 the building was remodeled into the form it was dismantled. In 1889 Miss Ida C. Ueberhorst became principal and remained for 44 years. She retired in 1933.
When the building was first opened, it, like the present school was recognized as one of the best in the state. An ornamental iron fence enclosed the school grounds almost entirely, with the square being completed with wooden five-foot, sharp-pointed pickets. Curving wooden walks led to the front doors. The building was heated by stoves, and kerosene lamps were placed in brackets around the wall of the upper rooms.
George A. Race became the first principal of the new school, and his staff of teachers includes: Francis Conlin, Florence P. Gedney, Marie Haffey, Cora B. Hopkins, Clara Knowles, Vivian McKeith, Mabel A. McWilliams, Loretta Maloney, Alice F. Moore, and May Ruhstorfer.