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History Lives Here Text

HISTORY OF GANGES SCHOOL DISTRICT #6

This Ganges School was built on land just north of the Ganges Corners, or Johnson's Corners as it was thencalled. The Allegan County Landtransfer was dated October 15, 1814, from Wm. H. Sutherland, founder of Pier Cove.This land transfer was recorded March 7, 1816, and the building was probablybuilt at that time.

The Ganges School Associationminutes states "The school ground was purchased in 1871 from DennisSutherland for the sum of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00), and consists oftwo acres. The school house was built in 1871 by Weed and Durham at a cost of Two Thousand Four Hundredand Thirty Dollars, ($2,430.00). The building committee was Richard Mack, LyleHoward and James R. Gardner. James Goodeve also wasthe first director of the school". There Is goodevidence that this school was previously located in the Lakeshore village of Pier Cove. An early accounting of PierCove written by H. N. Hutchins states, "Mr. Goodrich and his sisterattended school there in 1852". The Allegan CountyPlat book of 1873 shows a Pier Cove plat and business directory. A school islocated on the plat approximately 1000 feet South ofthe Bridge on what is now 70th Street. It may be that part of the Pier Cove School was moved or dismantled but a new two storyschool was built at the Ganges location. Earlyrecords of the pupils or teachers are not known to exist. Available, however,are the minutes and bylaws of the UnionSchool Association of Ganges, Michigan.The first meeting was held April 5th, 1923. The Constitution under Article fourstates, "No person shall be eligible to membership or office unless fiftyyears or more of age, and who has been either teacher or scholar in the Union School of Ganges, Michigan."

 

The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Minnie Johnson, who waselected President, Mrs. Zelda Trowbridge, Secretary, and Mrs. Etta Knox,Treasurer. Other members present were Henry Ensfieldand wife, Wm. Gardner, Gordon Spencer, Eddie Atwater, NettieAtwater, Onrita Perottet,Frank Weed, and others. The association had two social meetings each years the summer meeting at the Allegan County Park and the wintermeeting usually at the hall above Haile's Garage, orin the H1. E. Church next door.

The social meetings were well attended,usually fifty to sixty five in attendance At the 1938 picnic Mr. Charles McNitt was in attendance who was a teacher in the"upper room" in 1893. The minutes were brief and to the point;"A good time was had by a11, Picnic dinner, harmless gossip and old-timereminiscences were the order of the day", Lloyd Goodrich, Secretary.

Some of the early teachers were the McVeasisters, Rachel and Esther, Emily Benson Francis Sheehan, Alice Wightman, HelenKitchen, Marie Schultz, Grace Dornan, and MarieParrish.

In 1951, the Ganges School District voted toraze the old two story wooden structure and build a more modern structure. TheDistrict then voted on October 19, 1960, to annex to the FennvilleSchool District, thus ending the Ganges School ,District #6 after an existence of nearly one hundred years.

 

Thishistory of Ganges School District # 6 waswritten by former student Robert B. Wolbrink. Afterthe Ganges district annexed to Fennville the building in Ganges was used foranother 20 years by special programs before being sold in the 1990s to the Ganges United Methodist Churchnext door. Graduation and other special programs had often been held in thechurch building and the two structures shared a driveway.