Monday, October 12, 2009

East Market Street Primary School

Charles E. Frohman wrote in his book, A History of Sandusky and Erie County, that following a public meeting on October 14, 1843, a committee consisting of Moors Farwell, Alexander Porter, and Zenas Barker met to prepare a plan for the erection of one or more school houses for the education of the young people of Sandusky. Two stone school houses were built at the end of West Market Square and the south side of East Market Square. Another school was erected on the west side of Camp Street at Adams, and the high school was located on the West Public Square.

Pictured below is the building that was formerly used as the East Market Primary School located on East Market Street. The school was in operation from the mid 1840’s through the 1870’s. The view is from Franklin Street, and the Variety Village Drive-Through can be seen adjacent to the former school building.

The Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library has in its local schools collection an attendance register from the East Market Primary School, covering the years 1848 through 1853.


On the register page dated August 18, 1851, are the names of Melissa and Minerva Bell. These twin girls lost their parents, Horace and Sarah Bell, during the cholera epidemic in Sandusky in 1849. Mary and Rosa, daughters of well known lawyer and abolitionist F. D. Parish, are also seen on this page. (Rosa was also known as Damask Rose. See the book, Stories of Sandusky, for a touching, possibly fictionalized story about Damask Rose Parish.)


Many familiar names of the children of early Sandusky residents can be seen throughout the attendance register. A student named Theodore Hosmer would become the first Mayor of Tacoma, Washington.

An interesting report form was found from August 19, 1853. Besides recording attendance, absence and tardiness, the following items were also recorded by the teacher: number of communications for the week, number of pupils engaged in quarreling, and the number of cases of falsehood, uses of profane language and cases of obscene language. The final item to be tallied was the number of corporal punishments inflicted in the classroom for the week.

Visit the Sandusky Library to find a variety of historical items relating to Sandusky and Erie, including historical yearbooks and city directories and county histories of several counties in Ohio.

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