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33rd Street-College Hill School - Beaver Falls PA

In 1880 the campus of Geneva College, originally founded in Northwood, Ohio, in 1848, moved to an area north of Beaver Falls in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. A small neighborhood sprung up around the campus and officially became the borough of College Hill in 1892. At the same time the two-room College Hill School, for the local students, was built at 33rd Street and 4th Avenue next to the campus. Periodic additions were made to the school in 1895, 1902, and 1909, that added a total of six additional rooms to the building. The building had a unique fire escape plan, as students on the second floor would slide down one of two enclosed metal tubes to reach safety.

The older students of College Hill attended high school in neighboring Beaver Falls on a tuition basis. College Hill officials added a high school curriculum in 1908, but this initiative was abandoned in 1913 and the students went back to Beaver Falls High School. In the early 1920’s the students briefly attended high school in New Brighton during a tuition dispute, but this was solved before too long. Other schools were opened in College Hill in 1915 (38th Street & College Ave) and 1925 (5th Avenue & 37th Street) to accommodate the growing student population of the area.

In January 1930 the borough of College Hill was absorbed and became the northern portion of the modern city of Beaver Falls. College Hill area schools were absorbed into the Beaver Falls school district and the old College Hill School at 33rd Street remained in operation until mid-1950. At that time it was shut down for good and razed a few years later. The former site of the school is now located near McCartney Library on the campus of Geneva College.

A class photo from the 33rd Street/College Hill School dated Oct 13, 1911. This school was built back in 1892. (1911)

Another postcard/class photo dated Feb 23, 1913. Look at those old time boots! Anyway, this card is postmarked Feb 14, 1913, and sent to Mrs. David Edler in Edinburg. It reads, ‘Dear Aunt, now here is a picture of my school. I advise you to get Myrta to hunt out the teacher as it might not be good for your eyes if they are still sore yet. Ha ha. Frances.’ (1913)


  1. Born and raised in Beaver Falls and went to
    33rd street school! Those tubes were fun going down them and we would slid down on
    burlap bags every now and then to clean them.
    I lived on 5th Ave 29st college Hill not far
    from Geneva college!

  2. Uncle Tom was that you?

  3. Does anyone have a picture of the entire College Hill School building? I was just speaking with Mrs. Russell, who taught there in the mid- to late-‘40s, and she would very much like to see one.

  4. The College Hill/Beaver Falls borough merger was voted on in 1928 and commenced officially on January 1, 1930. It created the first “city” in Beaver County, the City of Beaver Falls.

    I believe your date of 1932 to be incorrect. I have newspaper clippings to confirm if need be.

  5. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Jeff S, Good catch. The year 1932 was an oversight. It will be corrected. Thanks buddy. Jeff


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