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School Timeline

Want to learn more about the history of the Coraopolis School System?  From 1820 onward, this Western Pennsylvania town was home to a series of venerated schools, including MCGahan Log House, Middletown School, Coraopolis School, Central School, Lincoln Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Coraopolis High School, Coraopolis Jr. High School, and Cornell Educational Center.

 

History Research Archive for the Borough of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, near Moon Township, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
 

SCHOOL TIMELINE

McGahan Log House

  • Operated in the late 1820s, early 1830s
  • Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, near Main Street (on the bank of the Ohio River)
  • Private School funded by parents
  • Robert B. Kendall recalls attending school here in his youth

middletown's first schoolhouse

  • Established 1835
  • Located on the western end of State Avenue near Watson Street (location was at one time the J.K. Jolly House and M. M. Watson house)
  • The first designated school building. It was a log cabin built without use of nails or ironwork. 
  • Teachers: John Byers and Robert B. Kendall

subscription school

  • Built after the log school was torn down
  • Located beside the First Baptist Church (where the old Ferree Homestead was located)
  • Consisted of a log building built 4-5 feet off the ground
  • Teacher: Ebeneezer Riddle
  • Examinations were held by Squire Cooper
  • Subscription fee was $1.00 - $1.50 per month per pupil
  • School hours were 9-4 without recess (including Saturdays), for 6-7 months a year, with summers off

moon township school

  • approximately 1840 through 1857
  • Located on 5th Avenue on the west side of Main Street (the property of Samuel Neely)
  • Brick building
  • Teachers: Robert B. Kendall and Charles Meegan
  • When fifth avenue was built, it was built atop the former location of this school

middletown school

  • 1857-1885
  • Located 150 feet south of 5th Avenue, at the corner of Main Street and Oak Way (later the location of the J.E. Helm house)
  • Frame building which had a capacity of 30 pupils
  • Teachers: Irene Dillon, Mr. Whitmore, James A. Watt, Hattie Dickson, Jack Phillips, William Verner, Mollie Harbison, Sarah Getty, Scott McCorich, Samuel Guy
  • In 1873, Rev. Josiah Dillon donated a small building on State Avenue to supplement the overcroweding

coraopolis school

  • 1885-1897 (This was the school in use when Coraopolis was incorporated in 1886)
  • Located at the corner of Ridge Avenue and School Street
  • 2-room brick schoolhouse (50 pupils per room)
  • schoolhouse cost $4,800
  • Housed preparatory, primary, and elementary
  • Had a school bell with the director's name cast in the bell
  • By 1891, 188 students were enrolled with 4 teachers
  • In 1892, a small frame building was added adjacent
  • In 1894, 2 additional rooms added to the brick building
  • Teachers: Agnes Wilson, Henrietta Mundorff, Theodesia McDonald, Letitia Marshall, May McKowan, Ada Liken, Ida Tredway
  • First School Board: J.M. Watt, Samuel Marshall, W.B. Dillon, D.W. Cornelius, G.W. McAdams, S.B. Johnston, Alfred McCabe

central school

  • Built in 1897 (demolished 1971)
  • Dedicated January 14, 1898
  • Located on the corner of Vance Avenue and School Street
  • Originally housed all 12 grades in 12 rooms
  • In 1901, Professor W. W. Fell established high school. The first high school teacher was Anna Ankrom.
    • 1901 - 1st high school class graduated: 5 students, 3-year program
    • 1902 - Graduation Class of 5
    • 1903 - Graduation Class of 8
    • 1904 - No graduates due to transition from 3-year program to a 4-year program
  • By 1911, 991 students were enrolled with 26 teachers employed

Lincoln elementary

  • Erected and dedicated in 1906 (demolished 1971)
  • Located at Ridge Avenue and Ferree Street
  • Educated gradeschool students on the east side of town
  • Had the biggest classes with large central hallways, huge windows, high ceilings, and dark oak woodwork
  • The wooden desks had cast iron scrolled bases

Lincoln School

mckinley elementary

  • Dedicated in 1909 (demolished)
  • Located at 6th and Locust Street
  • Educated gradeschool students on the west side of town
  • Voted the most beautiful elementary school in Pennsylvania when it opened
  • In 1928, 8 rooms were added at a cost of $100,000

McKinley School, 1976

coraopolis high school

  • Erected and dedicated in 1918 (now residential apartments)
  • Located on State Street
  • In 1918, 29 students graduated
  • In 1923, 1,802 students were enrolled with 52 teachers employed
  • In 1925, 63 students graduated
  • From 1910-1930, the population of Coraopolis increased from 2,550 to 10,000
  • In 1933, the school board mandated that only the children of Coraopolis residents could attend
  • In approximately 1969/1971, building was repurposed as an elementary school

coraopolis jr. high school

  • Building erected in 1924, dedicated in 1925 (now residential apartments)
  • Located on the corner of Ridge Avenue and School Street
  • Cost: $241,000
  • 16 Classrooms (39 pupils each) plus gym
  • In 1930, 8 rooms were added, including homemaking and industrial arts departments

cornell merger

  • 1972
  • Cornell High School: the former Neville Island School Building
  • Cornell Jr. High: the former Coraopolis Jr. High
  • Elementary Schools: Neville Island Elementary School, Coraopolis High School, McKinley School

cornell educational center

  • Dedicated July 1976
  • Location: former site of Coraopolis Borough Park
  • Cost: $10 million
  • Architect: J. J. Balobeck
  • Houses grades K-12