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Reynoldstown/Central/Aiken School - New Castle PA

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Reynoldstown, located along Pittsburg Street (now East Washington Street) south of Croton Avenue, was part of Pollock Township until that entity became part of the city of New Castle in 1869. The three-story Reynoldstown School opened in 1858 with John Sterrett serving as the first principal. It was renamed several times in the coming years and known as the First Ward School and the Central School. In the summer of 1913 it was renamed as the W. N. Aiken School in honor of esteemed local educator William N. Aiken (1834-1917). It was often referred to as the Pearson Street School as well. The school closed in June 1939 and became home to various government offices during World War II. Afterwards it was utilized as a community center, a jewelers training school, a battery manufacturing plant, a toy factory, and a furniture repair business. (c1905) Full Size


The Reynoldstown School was opened in 1858 on a bluff (on Pearson Street) overlooking New Castle, in an area that became Pollock Township in 1862. This school was closed down in 1939 but remained in use for various private businesses over the years. (Lawrence County Historical Society photo) (c1915) Full Size


A reunion of former students gather at the old Reynoldstown School on Pearson Street in New Castle. (c1914) Full Size


The old school fell into disuse during the 1980’s and became a public eyesore. It was put up for sale in 1992 but no buyers came forward to save it. After a section of the building crumbled in September 1994 it was slated for demolition. Before that could happen an arsonist’s fire gutted most of the building on the morning of Monday, October 31, 1994. The 136-year-old building was demolished soon after. (c1990)

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Comment

  1. I lived next to the Aiken School and was too young to attend but remember being taken to school as the guest of an older student on what I believe was the last day of classes in 1939.

    Also attended some sort of pre-school in he basement level and played tag on the fire-escapes, south side only, the north side was too rusted.

    Remember the 1858 stone over the front entrance. Once observed four men moving an auto chassis from one floor to the next. Apparently part of some vocational training.

    Remember the young men/older teenagers hanging out on the front steps with bottles of soda pop purchased from Calierns’ or ?Macdonalds? stores across the street.

    With the onset of WWII, those young men soon disappeared.Some came and some did not. Moved away in 1946.

    John Gardner · 02/22/2013 09:04 PM · #

  2. it was razed in 1994. my friend lived up the street in the big house on the corner of pearson and valley, its white brick bldg. i heard it was part of the pearson brick co. offices but not sure. we used to sneak into the bldg. and mess around. it was creepy, very large building with wooden floors, there was a 1960’s el camino rusting away in the basement at that time. wish i would’ve taken pictures of the inside and outside. Im a history nut, especially local history. thumbs up on ur site. I went to school with Billy Hake from s. cascade st, we were good friends, any relation to you?

    Gino Ventura · 03/06/2013 10:01 PM · #

  3. it was razed in 1994. my friend lived up the street in the big house on the corner of pearson and valley,the white brick bldg. i heard it was part of the pearson brick co. offices but not sure.back in 1993 and 94 we used to sneak into the bldg.(pearson st school) and mess around. it was creepy, very large building with wooden floors, there was a 1960’s el camino rusting away in the basement at that time. wish i would’ve taken pictures of the inside and outside.also on a map from 1879 the school is listed as first ward school. strange because i think thats the 3rd ward or 4th not sure. Im a history nut, especially local history. thumbs up on ur site. I went to school with Billy Hake from s. cascade st, we were good friends, any relation to you?

    Gino Ventura · 03/06/2013 10:04 PM · #

  4. Me and my Uncle got hired to clean out the building when a guy named Vito (I believe) owned it. I remember seeing a bunch on old plastic toy pieces being in there. I didn’t see any complete toys though. A few years later, when I lived nearby, I videotaped the big fire. I can’t find the tape though. I also have the lumberyard fire on Moravia St. On tape somewhere. I filmed it from the ramp behind the cement block place. I’ll keep looking for the tapes (vhs).

    John Wesner · 01/01/2017 08:24 PM · #