Fennville School District
     The first school houses in the area were west of Fennville, closer to the lake, first the log chack on the Loomis property near Loomis cemetery, and later on land owned by Walter billings west of the Peachbelt school building. The first school built within the early Fennville district was just outside the village limits, (see map) a small building on the Hudson Veeder property.

     Laura C Hudson, the first teacher who would later become the wife of pioneer settler Harrison Hutchins, described the structure:
"The school house where classes were to be held was a low log structure, which had been used ny Jim McCormick for making shingles. With pioneer ingenuity it had been converted into a school house.  It had one room, with three windows.  Each windo held six panes of glass.  the children's desks were made by nailing a board to the wall like a shelf, and the long benches upon which the puples sat were rude affairs made by driving rough pegs into augur holes bored into boards.  The room was heated by a large unblackened box stove with a plentiful supply of wood for fuel.  This humble structure was the result of the united efforts of all five of the residents of the school district."

     This building was replaced, probably about 1849, with a real one room school building about 10 rods east of the old building,
(see map).  This school served the growing community until 1892 although there is some evidence that the building was increased in size and remodeled to offer a two room school, separating the elementary school children from the "upper school".

     Starting in 1892 the residents of of the district held many meetings on where and how big a new school should be built.  On April 14, 1893 ground was broken on the north side of main street between Rose and Mary streets and the building opened for classes on October 23, 1893, as pictured below-left.



DOWN TOWN ABOUT 1900


Folks were preparing for a parade on Main Street
about the time strret lights were placed.
In 1898 fractionact No. 2, of Manlius, was organized for high school work. Up to that time the old building west of the village had served as the school home, but in that year a new brick building was erected in the village on the north side of Main street, and the old structure abandoned. The high school was brought to rank with the schools of the other villages in the county. The principals and graduates from 1898 to 1906 are as follows:

1898 - W.G. Loomis, Prin.:

Floyd Loomis, Millie Turrel, Lee Robinson, Robert Collins, Gertrude Barry, Calvin Wilcox

1900 - C.F. Bacon, Prin.;
Bessie Bale, Harry( (or Harrison Alexander) Hutchins, Carrie Hurlburt, Blanche Billings, Louise Smeed
1904 - L.Q. Martin, Prin.;
 Grace McCartney, Nellie Grant, Mary Peterson, Belva McCormick, George Whitney
1902 - L.W. Bacon, Prin.;
Leon French, Robert Day, Bul Kibby, Ethel Crane, Roy Fisher, Gertrude Fisher, Laura Young, Gladys Chapman, Grace Thome, Ivy Barber, Zelda Barrow, Ruby Wightman, Anna Owens, Hattie Knowlton
1905 - L.Q. Martin, Prin.;
Chas Reid, Lee Milo Hutchins, Serene Chase, Mildred Watson, Blanche Stauffer, Tressa Orther, Mary Geske, Belle Silcox, Hattie Johnson, Alice Baron
1903 - L.Q. Martin, Prin.;
Hattie Truax, Harvey Adams, Leo Swartz, John McCormick, Isabelle Thome, Lillian Arnold, Carol Walters, Laura (or Lora) Hutchins, Wm. Hoover, Eugene Mann, Oliver Henderson, Everard Leland, Clarissa Hurlburt, Flossy Taylor, Eva Paine, Russell Wightman
1906 - W.E. Sheehan, Prin.;
 Florence Mead, Lelah Frye, Fern Green, Alfa Pearle


     In 1908 a classroom addition was made to the southwest corner.  In 1923 a spirited campaigh was mounted to build a $50,000 addition to the eastern end to include an assembly room, four or fice recitations rooms, four laboratories, four or five grade , wardrobes, four toilet rooms, two shower baths, store rooms and a large general purpose room, (gym) which would be used by the community as well.  The photo at right displays the school at about 1930.  A later addition included ground floor home economics and agriculture rooms and two additional class rooms above these for science classes. In 1950 a separate building was constructed on the hill behind the school for agricultural and vocational classes which was later used as a bus garage. After all new schools were constructed in the north part of Fennville, this described school was razed (photos) in Janurary of 1975 and the site sold.

 
The lower photo  is the only way I remember it, Vern Bouwman - Class of 1953  This sites Web Master