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Pine Swamp/Glenkirk School - New Beaver Boro, PA

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In the early 1900’s the students from the rural area known as Glenkirk in Big Beaver Township, Lawrence County, attended class in the one-room, wooden Pine Swamp School on the Wampum-New Galilee Road. In the summer of 1922 a new school was proposed to be built on the site of the Pine Swamp School, which was built back in 1892. The architectural firm of W.G. Eckles of New Castle was hired to draw up the plans and a construction contract was awarded in September 1923.

The new two-room brick school cost $35,000 and was funded in large part by wealthy executive David M. Kirk, the president of the Crescent Portland Cement Company in Wampum. The Glenkirk School, a very modern facility for such a rural area, opened for classes in the fall of 1924. It featured running water, a sewage system, a heating plant, and a motion picture projector. The old Pine Swamp School was demolished to make room for the new school. The new building, with an initial enrollment of about twenty-five pupils, was sometimes referred to as the “new Pine Swamp School.”

The Glenkirk School was part of the Big Beaver Township School District in Lawrence County, comprised of several schools that included Glenkirk, Newport, Possom Hollow, Brittain, McAnlis, Centennial, and Keely. For a time Glenkirk served all local students through the eighth grade, while the older kids continued their education at Wampum High School. After a temporary jointure between the Big Beaver Township and Wampum school districts sometime about 1950 (which became permanent in February 1954), the Glenkirk school began housing only first and second graders.

In 1961 the Big Beaver and Wampum school districts split and Big Beaver Township (which became the New Beaver Boro) decided to merge into the Mohawk Area School District, formed just a few years earlier in 1958. The Glenkirk school remained in use but was finally shut down in June 1968. At that time is was home to only thirty-five students. The former school was converted into a municipal building for the New Beaver Boro, a capacity in which it still serves to this day. In August 2010, a state-funded mine reclamation project got underway to clean up a coal mine located just behind the old school, which causes issues with the local water supply. The old school building, which is almost ninety-years-old, appears to be in great condition and should remain in use for many years.



To read about how in July 1922 a new school was anticipated for the Glenkirk area click on: SCHOOL PLANNED ARTICLE. To read about how the school board solicited bids for the new school in August 1923 click on: BIDS ARTICLE. To read an article from September 1923 describing the proposed school click on: CONTRACT LET ARTICLE. To read two separate school reports (which still refers to the new school as Pine Swamp) for the month of January 1925 click on: JAN 1925 REPORTS. To a short article about teacher Maude Cosgrove being elected click on: TEACHER ARTICLE. To read an article from May 1926 describing the new schoolhouse click on: MODEL SCHOOL ARTICLE.


The old Pine Swamp School was a one-room wooden building built in 1892. It was torn down and replaced in 1923-1924 with a new two-room brick structure named the Glenkirk School. The newer school, designed by the architectural firm of W.G. Eckles, would still be referred to as the “new Pine Swamp School” for some time. (c1900)


The old Glenkirk School in Big Beaver Township (known as Big Beaver Boro starting in 1958) west of Wampum. This school opened in September 1924 on the site of the former one-room Pine Swamp School and closed in June 1968. (c1953)


An unidentified class photo from the Glenkirk School c1940s. (Photo courtesy of Helen Houk) Full Size


Another class photo of the Glenkirk School c1940’s. (Photo courtesy of Helen Houk) Full Size


(2010)


(2010)


The facade shows the name of the former school. (2010)


The slightly obscured cornerstone of the building. (2010)


(2010)


(2010)


(Jul 2013) Full Size


(Jul 2013)


(Jul 2013)


(Jul 2013) Full Size


(Jul 2013)


(Jul 2013)


(Jul 2013) Full Size

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Comment

  1. This was my first school before being sent to Mt. Jackson 1965-1966. Thanks for the memories.

    Mike Armstrong · 07/02/2012 08:21 PM · #