Wednesday, October 19, 2011

School's Out...Forever. The end of the Dry Tavern Elementary School.


I figure it is fairly common to visit your old school.     Maybe your kids go there.  Maybe you hit a reunion every few years.  Maybe you teach there. Most schools have seen remodels at least a few times since your days of roaming the halls.  Maybe the school was re-purposed and its an apartment building, community center or a church.  Maybe your school is long gone, replaced by a modern version wired with the latest tech. 
  
 Not my school.   
                                                                                            


My school is facing her final days.  The years have been cruel to the school (sorry...couldn't resist). Dry Tavern Elementary School was built in 1930 and used as part of the Jefferson-Morgan school district until 1979.  The kids from Rices Landing and Dry Tavern areas went there first through sixth grade.  Except the last few years when the sixth graders were bussed to the recently demolished Pitt Gas school, (I still don't know why they did that). Today, Evan and I stopped back and got a rare opportunity to check out the school one last time...from the classrooms we had not seen in 30+ years.  In the process of demolition, theres not much left to see,but the memories flooded back as I poked my head in the classrooms. 


 Imagine someone taking a place you spent a large portion of your childhood and locking the door.  Then you get a peek...at the same,virtually untouched room 32 years later.  No remodel...no computers..no WI-FI. The schools were Lippencott, which is now a church.  Central School,which was in Jefferson where the football Field is.  Pitt Gas was a rest home before meeting the iron blade and I'm still fuzzy on Mather.  I thought there was a school there, but it wasn't the red brick type the others were.Or did the Mather kids go to Central? Dry Tavern (I believe) was the only one of the schools that had a gym.  I remember hearing a rumor that there was a swimming pool beneath the floor that was never used.  I find it difficult to believe that made the 1930 budget! The gym was used for auctions in the 90's and the first grade room was briefly a video store.Other than storage, the other rooms were left untouched.  Auctions were held long ago and the desks and other items were sold off.  I believe some of the projectors now reside in my grandfather's house.  You remember filmstrips, right?













I'm a video!  Play me!



The fellows working at the school were kind of tentative on letting us in,understandably so,as the place is very dangerous, (So PLEASE...don't go up there!) After explaining our purpose,they were cool enough to escort us through for a final glance.The roof is collapsing and daylight is visible in many spots.  It was sort of sad.  But soon our attention focused on the remaining items that triggered the memories of the past.Days of Six Million Dollar Man lunch boxes, recess on the monkey bars and all of life's little dramas.  Days when bad behavior got you a crack on the ass ,not a trip to the magistrate.  But i digress... 
The chalk boards are still there (may be for sale,stop by and ask).  There was still writing on the corners of the board in the fourth grade room.  Back when you had to erase the board,sometimes you missed a spot.Pieces left over from a 30 year old lesson.  Wonder who wrote it? I could go on all day re-living stories from this school but I'll let the pictures and video do the talking.  The school will be gone soon...enjoy the memories and please comment with yours.




































CLICK ME to see the pile of rubble that used to be this school....taken a few days after these blogs shots...


16 comments:

  1. My brother went to school there long time ago,, Last time I was in there was when Diane Murphy and her husband John, I believe had a video store there. To see it like it is today,, is a bit sad,,,but a shame something couldn't have been put in there. With a little love and remodeling it could have been something great...

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  2. I went to school there in the 50's it is sad to see it now .

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  3. Hi Chip, it's great to see you doing something like this. We forget our history too quickly and easily. History in American is often treated as disposable. Good job sharing, and keep up the good work! Most of my memories are of the Pitt Gas school. Shame they couldn't have preserved these schools in some useful way.

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  4. I watched a PBS nature program recently about the wolves of Chernobyl. The program had plenty of images of abandoned buildings. The abandoned buildings on your blog look eerily similar. I guess Chernobyl had its nuclear disaster, but SW PA had its economic one. It's sad to see these old buildings go to ruin -- and wasteful.

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  5. I never went to school here but I remember visiting the Video store and always thought it was super scary to go in. I also attended some auctions there.
    Great job documenting this History!

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  6. I can remember The Lions club or one of the American legion's put on a Haunted House their like 15-17 yrs ago & they also had them @ Crucible school too.

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  7. shannon (ziemba) boisvertNovember 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I lived behind the school, down the hill and would walk to the video store. I started school in 1980 at the new Jefferson-Morgan Elem. school, so I never went there. I wish you could find old pictures of the school so we can compare. I live in California now, so it is really nice to follow your blogs and see all the pictures from my childhood. Please keep up the great work!

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  8. 1.18.12

    I started school at Dry Tavern in 1961. The school was extremely well kept, very clean. The teachers there were good people. If parents failed to do their job, the teacher's picked up the slack. That's illegal now...too bad for following gernerations. I've nothing but fond memories of my times there.

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  9. i went to 2nd grade in that school..i think i even remember were my class room was. i havent been in that school since then. its so sad that it not going to be around anymore. and yes chip lippincott school is a church. actually its faith baptist church...thats were i go. and also it is home to open door christian school.

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  10. I went to school there for eighth grade in 1952-1953, after spending seven years in the one room Crayne School at Homeville.

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  11. Dave Thomas was the kid that ran fast...

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  12. I didn't go to school there but I did coach the JM jr. high basketball team when we went to the school by bus from Jefferson to practice. I spent my first 5 yrs. In school in the Clarksville school and 6-8 grades in Pitt Gas. Member of freshman class when new school opened in 1955. Good job guys on all your work. Great project.

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  13. I went there in third grade. The reason they closed one grade at each school was to make room for the special ed classes. Each school only had six classrooms, so when they started the special ed program, they had to make room at each school so one grade from each school was split up among the others. At Mather (yes we had a school!) the third graders were split up. Some of us went to Dry Tavern and some went to Lippencott. (maybe other schools too, I don't remember).

    Mather school was in the center of town next to the church. It was a wooden building painted white. One long hallway with classrooms on each side.

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  14. this school is now gone and a dollar general store sits in its place 5/2012.

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  15. I went there in the seventies, had a lot of memories there. I was in there a number of times after it was sold the first time.

    I moved out of state and always drove by telling my kids that was my elementary school when coming home to see family who live not far fron there.

    I was very suprised when I stopped by in the summer to find a Dollar General store there now.

    My thanks for preserving some if our memories for us on the net.
    Mike Amorosi

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  16. I went to this elementary school in the 70's from 1st grade through 5th. I remember Mrs. Miner. She was my 1st grade school teacher and my favorite. She was also the teacher that gave me my 1st paddle. Yes, I was a bad girl. I miss all the memories. It is sad to see it gone.

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