Today, we bring you one of Sylvia Henricks’ “Remembrances.” You can read more of Sylvia’s columns weekly in The Franklin Township Informer, or in her book From The Ash Grove.
Mary Ann Alspaugh Weddle was a student at Bunker Hill in the late 1950s, shortly after Woody Wooden graduation from 6th grade an moved on to Junior High School , at the New Bethel school in Wanamaker. She called me recently, offering copies of photos her father, Robert Alspaugh, took. The images seem an appropriate addition to our appreciation of a Bunker Hill School some of us still remember.
“These were taken as slides,” Mary Ann told me, “which I recently had printed.” (Most of our own family photos were slides, of which I still have many boxes!) In the classroom photo Mary Ann is “front, in glasses,” The teacher, Mrs. Elrod stands at the rear of her “3rd grade (1955)” class. Mary Ann also added on the back of the photo, “John Henricks is at my right.”
One can see what must be Shelbyville Road out the window, and in front of the window two big iron radiators that heated the room, supplied by hot water (or steam?) provided by the furnace in the school’s basement. Another photo of the classroom shows Mrs. Elrod at her desk near the blackboard, a big wall calendar, “Southport Lumber Co.” behind her. Above the blackboard are letters of the alphabet as upper and lower case cursive writing. A corner shows of the American flag displayed above the blackboard.
Perhaps something should be said about the desks, surely an innovative invention with the seat to each desk part of the desk behind it. Made of wood, with iron parts, including openwork iron sides to the slightly slanted top. Beneath the top the student kept his or her papers and books. The desks had a hole in the right hand corner of the top for an inkwell, and a grooved area to hold pencils and pens. Screwed to the floor, they represented regimentation and discipline, and long use apparently proved their value.
Other of Mary Ann’s photos show three “Bunker Hill cafeteria ladies,” of which her mother, Annamarie Alspaugh was one, and several of a “1956 class picnic at Alspaugh house on Southport Road.” I will display these photos at the Historical Society Meeting House at our next Open Hours. Thank you, Mary Ann , for providing this glimpse of the past.