Friday, April 2, 2010

St. Michael's Parochial School

Next door to St. Michael's Catholic Church is the parochial school that educates children from preschool through grade 8. The school has been in existence since before 1864.  Several different buildings and locations have been used for the school and the cornerstone for the present building, located at the corner of Fifth and Market Streets, was laid in 1923 during the time of Father Ambrose. * 

Many of my ancestors attended St. Michael's Catholic School including my mother and her sister.  At the time of their attendance, there was no preschool and classrooms consisted of the children in two grades - first and second, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth.  The Sisters of Devine Providence taught my mother and were strict taskmasters.  I have heard stories of how my left-handed mother was made to use her right hand to write and how rulers were rapped on knuckles.  At recess, girls played on one side of the playground and boys on the other.  Uniforms were worn by all, and my mother's ponytail was frowned upon.  

The photograph below is a picture of the dedication of the school.  I would assume that it was taken sometime during 1923 - 1925 depending on how long it took for the building to be completed after the cornerstone was laid.  The crowd of people illustrates how important the school was to the town of Ripley.  

* Ripley, Ohio  Its History and Families by the Sesquicentennial Historical Committee, 1962

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