Remembering the Red Brick School

by Lewis Redmond from an interview with Roy and Clare Redmond

The Curtisville School, located on the Southwest corner of Bamfield and Curtisville Roads was completed in the Spring of 1930.  The first semester began in the Fall of 1930.  Coresta (McColeman) Southwick was the first teacher. The new building was stately compared to the old white framed building; the building that was school for so many of the Curistville residents in former times.

The yards at the new school were a “muddy mess” and many of the neighbors wondered why the site was selected for this new school.  The following year, we seventh and eighth graders spent many of noon hours and after school time laying the sod left in large piles by a sod company.

Mr. Walter Laidlaw was our teacher in 1931, 1932, and 1933.  His wa an new style of administration.  Perhaps we could call it relaxed yet intense.  When we played, we put lots into it; when we were in session, there was no fooling around.

During Mr. Laidlaw’s three years, the bell which was located in the belfry of the Southern most entrance, only got about half-time use.  He always rang in the students at 9:00 A.M.  but seldom at one P.M. or at the close of the noon hour.  During the noon hour recreation, he would take the girls on his team and play baseball against the boys.  We continued playing until we won; if there were no hope of doing so - we stopped at 2:00 P.M. and went to our studies.  The inspiration for we fellows to play well was amazing.  This may account why I made the baseball team when I attended East Tawas High School.

In September and October of 1932 we had an extra treat.  A visitor always “hung” around but never attended classes.  She was present at recesses and noon hours to enjoy herself, as well as bring happiness to us.  Not knowing her name, we just called her “Bambie”.  After all, she was a pet doe fawn.

Now for the architecture and design of the building.  There were two entrances both facing East.  The girls would enter the Southern most entrance, turn to the left to a cloak room where they would removed their coats and boots.  The girls restroom was at the end of the clock room.  The boys used the Northern most entrance to the same situation for them.  The main room between these two ends had about forty desks.  (Roy Redmond, who taught here 9 1/2 years says the highest enrollment was 46 students in 1942).  Toward the North end of the main room was the teacher’s desk and in front was the recitation bench.  In the Northwestern corner wa a world globe, about four feet in circomference.  Toward the East side of the building was room about six feet by thirty feet.  This was used as a library, except from 1939 until closing.  Then is served double duty.

In 1939 the libary was also used as a kitchen, lunchroom.  The Federal government allocated funds to hire a cook to purchase, prepare, and serve lunches for all the children in the school.  She became the favorite school personnel.  Bessie Redmond filled this positon until the school closed.

In 1944, consolidation closed the Curtisville School and the children were transported to Glennie by busses.

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