(The following was written by Faye White Moreland and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
In 1851-1852 a Commission laid out and platted lands into lots of what would be Grove City. The plat contained 78 lots. Four of them now make up the Park Street Elementary School site. The four lots are numbered 30 through 33 inclusively. They lie together on the north side of East Park Street. Lot No. 30 lies along Third Street and Lot No. 33 along Arbutus Avenue.
The first lot purchased for the first school house was Lot No. 32. See Deed Book No. 74, page 475, in the Franklin County Recorder’s Office. It was deeded to the Board of Education of Jackson Township, by the owner William Foster Breck and his wife Elizabeth Cambel Breck May 2nd, 1862. The recorded deed recites, “The above-named lot conveyed to the Board of Education is in compliance to an agreement made in the year of 1853.” The cost of the lot as written in the deed was 1 cent. The first school was equipped with rough slab benches supported at either end by a pair of hickory pins inserted in sugar holes and, for that time, was complete with modern “conveniences”. Part of this one room building was later used in two residences on Park Street and Arbutus Avenue.
The first teacher in the first school house in Grove City was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Canfield. The second was Miss “Teeny” Yates who taught one summer. The third was Mrs. young, maiden name Viets, who in the Autumn of 1853, though but a girl of 18, traveled from Oberlin to Grove City to teach our school. She began teaching November 22nd, 1853. Eighty pupils entered, her average daily attendance was 60 pupils. Other teachers in this early school where Professors Hannum, Stonestreet, and William Sibray.
Among those who took a prominent part in securing this school were William Foster Breck, Hugh Grant, Jr., George Weygandt, Daniel Smith, Jonathan Gantz and Joseph Pense.
It is interesting to note here that Grove City Road (also known as Dutch Pike) extended northeastwardly and in alignment with and connecting with a county road now known as Stringtown Road. This extended connecting road was discontinued when the plat of 78 lots was laid out. Moreover, it laid diagonally in the location where the schoolhouse was later built.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry).