Quarry School celebrates 150th birthday today: November 20, 2018

A November 24, 1868, Waukesha newspaper announced the dedication of a new school on the “evening of Friday last”:

A New School House.—The school house in District No. 3, Pewaukee, (The Deissner Mill District.) was formally dedicated on the evening of Friday last. The exercises consisted of addresses by Mr. Gaylord of Milwaukee, Supt. Green, and others, interspersed with singing by the children of the district. This school house is of stone, and is probably the best house in the county of its size, erected at a cost of about $1,600, furnished and painted in the best style, size 28 x 26 feet, and 14 feet between joints [this means ceiling height], affording ample desk-room for 68 pupils, convenient recitation ground and seats, extensive black-board, cloak-rooms, wood-closet, provisions for ventilation, and surmounted with a cupola for a bell. The contract for the masonry was awarded to S. Eales, and the carpentering to the Hartwells, of this village. The school term of this District commenced yesterday, under the tuition of Mr. Eales.

Note that the school was not named at this time and was comprised of only one classroom. The second classroom of identical configuration was added in 1878. It is the newer wing which is most visible from the road.

Photos from Charley Myers of brother Keith, Etta Riesner, and Dave Farina

From the basement of Quarry Elementary, we see Etta and Keith as Mrs. & Mr. Claus in the 1961 production of what was surely a gripping Christmas production. Just before the performance, Santa Keith had his picture taken with the elf-costumed Dave Farina.

Keith as santa 1961.jpg

Keith & Dave Farina 1961.jpg

Long-lost Quarry Elementary School blueprint discovered in 2018!

Thanks to the very thoughtful Matt Newman, director of Sales and Services for School Facility Services in Waukesha, we now have floor plans of the otherwise-erased grade school of our memories: “The attached drawing was found in my blueprint file. It was identified only as Quarry School. Thought you may want a copy of it.”

Quarry School Floor Plan

Ground floor level.

Quarry School Basement

Basement level.

There appear to be no architectural drawings of the exterior, however, Mid-Century Modern architectural stylings from the era by Joseph L. Eichler (see examples below) help one re-imagine Quarry Elementary. (Do you see a resemblance in the low-slung roof line and exposed beams and posts?)

The school was a masterpiece of design, in my opinion; reflective of its era like very few schools; and it’s a tragedy it was destroyed rather than repurposed. — J.B.

Eichler exterior 1.jpgEichler interior.jpgEichler exterior 2.jpg