Flashback: State Street School


The State School, called First Ward School until 1944, was built at 815 State St. in 1918 or 1919 in Midland and had a wooden roof and floors. The original First Ward School was a frame building on East Ellsworth Street.

In 1919 there were four teachers and 115 children. A new addition was built in 1926. During the years 1943-45, the kindergarten had an enrollment of 125 students with two teachers in the same room.

State Street School had the first elementary library in Midland. It was established in 1944.

By the fall of 1947, enrollment had reached 585 students and the school was in half-day sessions for two months, until Eastlawn School was completed.

In 1955, there were 12 classrooms, from kindergarten to sixth grade, with 373 children enrolled, representing 253 families. Susan Dyer was the principal, coming to the building in 1937-1938.

The school also had a student council and two Brownie troops, a Girl Scout troop, a Boy Scout troop and a Cub pack. The fifth and sixth graders formed the security and service patrol groups.

It was proposed in 1968 that a school administration center be built on site, with part of State Street School housing the necessary utilities. Part of State Street School was razed in the summer of 1969 as part of the renovation.

The school saw its last student in June 1976 and quickly accommodated the staff of the district’s special education services. In 1990, it was announced that the school would house another Midland Public School business – Michigan’s first science resource center.

If you can identify any of the unknown photos, please send the information to LoriQuallsMDN @ gmail. com.

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