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Winter Harbor High School, ca. 1915

Contributed by Winter Harbor Historical Society
MMN Item 16686 Item Details
Winter Harbor High School, ca. 1915
MMN Item 16686 Zoom


Built in 1909, the first class of Winter Harbor High School graduated in 1913 and the last in 1952. Located on what, as of 2019, is Harbor Road in Winter Harbor, the building housed the Winter Harbor Town Office in 2007.

During the town's first meeting in 1896 a 12 week program to educate young people past the eighth grade was approved and funded. The program required a written examination for admission and classes were held in people's homes. This informal process demonstrated the need for a more formal program and plans to establish a High School were subsequently developed.

Contractors Frank Weston and Fred Joy reviewed over 100 plans and for a total cost of $6385, Winter Harbor High School opened in 1909. Four years of study with courses such as: Latin, French, Physiology, Botany, Virgil, Cicero and Rhetoric were offered with certified teachers after 1915.

Except in 1943, when paper was rationed, a professionally printed yearbook, The Pythia, was published. Robert Coombs stated in a history compiled for Winter Harbor Alumni, that the average salary for the male teacher in 1910 was $70 per month and $36 for females.

The first graduating class in 1913 had five women and at least two continued on with college. This class included Flossie Hancock, who returned to teach second grade in Winter Harbor for over 40 years.

The first yearbook published in 1912 contained two pages of ads, increasing to 20 pages in 1952, when Winter Harbor students began attending Sumner Memorial High School. One of the notable seniors in this last class was Janet Jordan, vice president, whose ambition was to marry a fisherman. As a junior, Clair Whitten was voted most popular in the school and his favorite song was ‘Hot Rod Race.’ Barbara Gerrish, a junior was secretary of the student council and participated in band, cheerleading and basketball. Sophomore, Gail Jacobs was secretary of her class and Steve Tardy was vice president. Another sophomore, Dale Torrey was voted best comedian, teachers’ headache and noisiest by the entire school.

Freshman, Reynold Daley made the basketball team and the class of 1952 enjoyed a class trip to Quebec. School committee members were Hugh MacKay, Mrs. Colby Coombs and Albert Hallowell.

Grammar school students attended this building from 1953-1957, when a new school was built. The building housed the Winter Harbor Library and Town Office for many years, before becoming home to Schoodic Arts for All.

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