Is Your New Bedford Grade School Still Standing?
My parents moved around a lot as a kid. Even after they bought their first house on Brook Street in the 1960s, they had the "gypsy bug" and a need to roam. They bought and sold three homes in New Bedford before returning to renting places near my mother's family in the Weld Street area where the family originated, and where many still live today.
Because we moved around so much, my brother and I attended several grade schools in New Bedford. Only one of the three is still standing but with a new name. Another has the same name but a new building.
My education career began at the Clark Street Elementary School. The building is still standing and though I cannot find a history of the school, I would guess it is well over 100 years old. For those not familiar with the Clark Street School, it is the red brick building to your right as you exit Route 195 east on Penniman Street.
I attended the Clark Street School for a portion of my kindergarten year in 1963. All I remember of it was a Christmas pageant and the song "Up On a Rooftop." It was probably the first time I recall hearing the song.
For some reason, unbeknownst to me, the Clark Street School closed shortly thereafter and has been used for various purposes ever since.
My next stop was the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School on, you guessed it, Mt. Pleasant Street. I finished kindergarten at Mt. Pleasant and lasted until the end of the first semester before we moved again. The Mt. Pleasant School is still there but was renamed the Carlos Pacheco Elementary School in memory of the late school committeeman.
Next was the Abraham Lincoln School on Ashley Boulevard. I finished fourth grade and graduated from sixth grade at the Lincoln School in 1969. The original Lincoln School building was more than 100 years old when it was demolished and a new school building was built to replace it several years ago.
Seventh, eighth, and ninth grades were at the old Normandin Junior High School on Fenton Street. It has been replaced by the new Normandin Middle School.
Tenth, 11th, and 12th grades were at the "new" New Bedford High School which turns 50 years old this year. I graduated in 1976.
It's kind of eerie when you visit one of the grade schools you attended as an adult. Everything appears so small. It's even weirder when the schools you've attended have been demolished and replaced by something new. It's as though a piece of your history has disappeared.
Which grade schools did you attend in New Bedford? Are they still standing today or have they been replaced or disappeared altogether? What are your memories of your school days in New Bedford?