Ondossagon History

The Early Years

From the 1990 Beacon Yearbook:

On May 5, 1917, it is recorded that the Board purchased five acres of land from Mrs. Fred Buss for a school site and contracted Barney Huff to clear the land, removing all brush and stumps.

Ondossagon School, circa 1918-1919

Two and one half months later, bids were opened for the general contract on building. There were five bids, $69,200, $65,900, $59,400, $54,900 and one for cost plus 10%. After due consideration, the contract was awarded to Tomlinson and Egan on the cost plus 10% basis.

It appears that Board bought various materials for the building themselves, although a record appears whereby Tomlinson and Egan were directed to buy the structural steel from the lowest bidder who could assure prompt delivery. bids for mill work, cut stone, bricks, etc., were negotiated for directly by the Board.

In the minutes of Sept 1, 1917, first comment regarding the teacherage appears. The director was instructed to confer with Mr. Beers, manager of E.I. Dupont as to building a teacherage with the understanding that the school district take it over after completion. 

This was done and has been in use since its construction. Though it is hear-say, the Ondossagon Teacherage had the distinction of being the first one built in the state. The dwelling for the janitor was built although it was voted on June 8 and rejected July 1, 1918.

Building was begun in the late summer of 1917 and was not ready for occupancy until the school year of 1918-19. Instruction began with the school year of 1917-18 and school was held in the Barksdale Town Hall across from the school.

The first freshman class consisted of eight grade graduates from Nash, Cherryville, Enterprise and Tokay Schools - all from the Barksdale Grade District No. 1 and the graduate students from that portion of the Town of Eileen, which was included in the new high school district.

A horse-drawn bus driven by Mrs. Jack Gordon brought the Eileen students, the others walked or furnished their own transportation.

The first graduating class was in 1919 when three graduated: Hester Peterson, Myrtle Raarup and Lea Schutt.


Thank you to Mark Osmak for sharing the above photo and information.


Ondossagon union free High School and Grade School 1919 -1921.
Before any exterior additions.

Thank you to Donald Sampson for sharing this photo.