Schools have gone through many changes

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An alumni program from July 2, 1960, was slated for 8 p.m. and there were other things going on...

Alumni program: presentation of flag; Pledge of Allegiance; “Star Spangled Banner”; an invocation by Ronald Freimark.  We were welcomed by Mayor C. T. Kvale; a response by Mrs. Jas. Sample; and entertained by musical selections by Mrs. Gordon Mosher;  "Our School Begins" by Mr. Earl Ellenberg, past chairman of the board; and recent developments by Superintendent E.W. Winter.  Vocal selections were by the girls' ensemble; short speeches by alumni.  Highlight was "Recollections" by George Tracy.  And of course the accompanist, Mrs. Marian Washburn Zittleman; dancing with music furnished by "The Aristocrats."

History of Spring Valley schools at the time was thus:  The first school in District 112 was in a log cabin northeast of the village on SE 1/4 of Section 27, Spring Valley Township in 1854.  The first school in the village was on the site of west side of North Broadway in 1855.  In 1856 a school was three-fourths mile southeast of the then elementary school on the hill (Broadway).  A one-room school stood at the site of the Spring Valley Creamery for many years.  The creamery was located on Jefferson Street (about where the food shelf is located in 2019).

The Rowe house west of Ed & Dee's Grocery on East Franklin was originally a school, used up until 1887.  This was where the parking lot is today across the street from the Molstad School, know where that is!

A two-room school on the site of the Caswell home on North Section was used up to about 1890.

A brick building was erected in 1868 on the hill facing downtown.  It was added to in 1884, burned down in February 1885.  Two children were observing it and one was killed.  The then present elementary school (see photo - Molstad School);  was dedicated on Sept. 4, 1885.  School opened the next day with an enrollment of 454 pupils and 11 or 12 teachers; cost was $10,500.

The Ward School on Hudson Avenue was erected in 1890 at a cost of $1,750.  This is where I attended first and second grade; and I remember “tearing out” an Easter rabbit from paper; boys were MEAN; playing on the “rings”; and playing hopscotch  on the sidewalks.

Four rooms of the Molstad building were built in 1895; cost was $5,500.  I'm sure old-timers can remember Mr. Tracy directing traffic on the stairs!  The high school building was erected 1911 at a cost of $30,000.  This was a step in the right direction -- the high school was the second of the buildings.  In 1949-50, a gymnasium and four other classrooms were built; cost $240,000.  During the war years, the gym was delayed several years.

Notes:  The Agriculture, Home Economics and Industrial Arts were started in 1911.  These departments recently expanded through grants extended by the Smith-Hughes Act.  Fourteen associated districts joined in 1911.  Teachers' Training department operated through 1917.  Commercial department organized in 1917.  Physical education expanded from 1916 to the present time.  The first band and vocal groups were in 1930.  First state aid $400 was in 1878.  First graduating class in 1886  -- three members.  Largest class graduating -- 62 members.  Total number of graduates including 1960 -- 2,342.   Consolidation of 21 districts by 1960.  Total enrollment in 1960 -- about 1,145 and 47 teachers.

Notes after 1960: We can remember when the NEW elementary school was built in 1963 - what an improvement! It is all gone now and the hill facing downtown is almost bare.    And the new high school was built in 1957 at a cost of $650,000. We see the new joint school at the north end of town and even that faces some changes.