Niagara Gazette


May 13, 2013

HIGGS: Niagara Falls High School in the early years

Niagara Gazette — Since we are learning about city schools it is only fitting that we move on to the new Niagara Falls High School. The former building was completely destroyed by a fire in 1922 while construction of the annex was in progress. The building and equipment were considered a “total loss.” Insurance recovery was $378,379.24 and the replacement estimate, (without furnishings) was $644,929. School records including Regents’ examination papers and report cards were carried to Principal James F. Taylor’s nearby residence on 13th Street, much to the students’ dismay.

No time was lost in getting the students back to classes and getting the building back into its use. The entire city responded to the crisis with offers of emergency supplies of desks, chairs and other equipment. In less than one week all 1,200 students were back to class with most of them in the south end of the city. Some were at the Chamber of Commerce auditorium in the Masonic Temple, some at the YMCA, the YWCA and the First Baptist and First Presbyterian churches as well as St. Peter’s Guild House. Science class students attended school in the laboratory at the Niagara Alkali Company and basketball was played on the Acheson-Graphite Company court and at the State Armory on Main Street.

Fifth Street School housed the freshmen and night school classes. The office of Superintendent John B. Laidlow and some supervisory teachers went to Tenth Street School where night school classes were also held. Attendance actually increased, tardiness decreased in spite of the disadvantage of having to walk in all kinds of weather to and from various city buildings during the class day. (Maybe the kids today need a challenge to get them to stay in school.) For example, the school’s assembly programs were conducted at the Cataract Theater. In the fall of 1922, the freshmen and sophomores went to the new Maple Avenue Elementary School with classes divided into two sessions, in the morning from 8 a.m. until noon and in the afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m. Striking street car operators only added to the problems of the students walking to and from the Maple Avenue School. The High School Annex was completed in January of 1923 and was utilized for some junior and senior classes. South Junior High School was opened in September of 1923 which filled the gap for the remaining students. This tragic fire saw the last of the horse drawn fire apparatus as in 1923, the Tenth Street Fire Hall ended the era with the motorization of its fire hall equipment.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page