*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***

Eastbrook High School - Eastbrook PA

In March 1926, the citizens of Hickory Township in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, overwhelmingly voted in favor to raising $64,000 to build a large, consolidated schoolhouse in the town of Eastbrook (or East Brook) to replace several one-room wooden schools in the area. A construction low bid of $48,900 – plus another $11,000 for additional interior work to include plumbing and heating – was accepted on May 14, 1926, and work began soon after. The two-story brick school, designed as a high school, was to be built into a hill on the Eastbrook-Volant Road (Route 168) where it intersects the Eastbrook-Neshannock Falls Road.

The school opened in early 1927 with six classrooms on the bottom floor and two classrooms and an auditorium/gymnasium on the top floor. Students from the nearby schools of McDowell, Briar Hill, Moffatt, and the old schoolhouse in Eastbrook transferred to the new school building. The facade of the school was marked as the “EASTBROOK HIGH SCHOOL” but it served students of younger grades as well (at least for a short time). Several additional teachers were hired and Eastbrook’s high school curriculum, first organized back in 1901 with twenty-eight students, was now lengthened to a full four years.

According to a newspaper report the old bell from the now-closed Moffatt School, (built in 1909) was put in place atop the new school in October 1933. Looking at the photos of the school structure I don’t see an obvious place for a large bell, so perhaps it was placed inside or on the grounds somewhere.

In early 1955 the Hickory Township School District joined with new Laurel Area School District, which included the school districts of Slippery Rock Township and Scott Township. The schoolhouse at Eastbrook was soon designated as the Laurel High School, until the new Laurel Junior-Senior High School (built a few miles to the southeast on Route 108) was fully opened for students in grades 7-12 in early 1959.

Afterwards the Eastbrook building served as an elementary school for the Laurel School District, along with the Hickory Heights, Harlansburg, and Princeton Schools. In 1970 the school, designed to house a maximum of 240 kids, was overcrowded with close to 300 students in grades 1-6. A 1972 reorganization plan – assigning specific grades to individual schools – saw the Eastbrook Elementary School house only fifth and sixth graders from then on.

In 1976 all four of the elementary schools came under scrutiny from state inspectors due to violations of fire codes (mostly because of wooden second floors in three of the buildings). Later that year the school board decided to go ahead with plans to build a modern elementary school to replace and consolidate the four aging schoolhouses. When the new Laurel Elementary School, situated near the high school, opened its doors on December 13, 1978, the four older schools were finally closed soon after. The remaining contents of the Eastbrook School were sold at a public auction in late June 1979 and the building was sold sometime after this. In September 1983, after bring remodeled by new owners David J. Smith Sr. and Jr., and building was opened as the Eastbrook Apartments. It initially contained twenty-one apartments for rent. The facility was greatly expanded in the coming years and additional buildings were erected.

To read a short article about the county school board soliciting bids for the construction of the new Eastbrook School in April 1926 click on: TO TAKE BIDS ARTICLES. To read about the construction bid that was accepted in May 1926 click on: CONTRACT IS LET ARTICLE. To learn more about the work on the school almost being completed in October 1926 click on: WILL SOON BE READY ARTICLE. To read a lengthy article about the history of schools in Eastbrook click on: REMINISCENCES ARTICLE.

Construction of the eight-classroom Eastbrook High School commenced in May 1926 after the citizens of Hickory Township voted to raise $64,000 to fund it. When the school was opened in early 1927 several one-room schoolhouses were closed as a result. (1951) Full Size

Artist’s rendering of the Eastbrook High School, which primarily served as a high school but also was home to younger students. Full Size

The façade of the old school. (Nov 2010)

The consolidated Eastbrook High School, which opened for classes in early 1927, is pictured here in about 1950. The school is marked as Eastbrook High School but housed students of all grades for at least several years.

William Sterling “Bill” Hart (1917-2006), the son of former professional baseball player Walter S. Hart, played for the school’s basketball team in 1933-34. He transferred to New Wilmington for his senior year and after graduating in May 1935 he went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh.

In the late 1930’s Hart (pictured here in c1950) made his way out to Hollywood, changed his name to Robert Sterling, and became a well-known motion picture and television actor. He is most known for starring in the 1953-55 television series Topper and the 1961 film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

The faculty of the Eastbrook High School, led by supervising principal Ralph Watson, from the 1951-52 school year. (1951) Full Size

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter in Eastbrook was chartered in September 1938. This group is from 1949-1950 and was advised by teacher Howard Fox (far right). (1949) Full Size

The junior class (class of 1952) pictured here in 1950-51. Class president Thomes Hanna is pictured on left of top row.

The sophomore class (class of 1953) pictured here in 1950-51. Class president Terry McClelland is standing in fourth row – second from right end in black collar.

The 1950-51 varsity basketball team. Head coach and science teacher Glenn Matthews is kneeling on left with his assistant and high school senior John Hanna.

The junior high team from 1950-51 with coach Matthews on top right.

Senior cheerleaders Shirley Patterson and Sally Downing from the 1950-51 school year.

The junior cheerleaders of the 1950-51 school year – from left its Joan Pearson, Joyce Campbell, and Erla Fennick.

The four-page commencement program of the Eastbrook High School class of 1951. I found this in a combined 1951 Eastbrook High School and Hickory Heights Elementary School yearbook (“The Eagle”) marked as belonging to Thomas and Carol Martin of Volant. Thomas was in the 6th grade and Carol in the 8th grade at that time.

The Eastbrook High School graduates who received their diplomas in May 1951. Full Size

The small Eastbrook High Band from the 1951-52 school year. Full Size

The Mixed Chorus musical group from the 1951-52 school year. Full Size

High school boys pose proudly in late 1951.

High School girls from the 1951-52 school year.

The boys varsity basketball team from early 1952. They finished with a record of 7-7 while competing against teams from Wampum, Bessemer, Shenango, Darlington, Union Township, New Wilmington, and Mount Jackson. This squad was led by senior forward Clyde Cummins (standing 2nd from left end next to coach Matthews), who won the Section 20 scoring title while tallying 330 total points. Cummins averaged 26.4 PPG and set an Eastbrook High record by scoring 45 points in a single game. (1952) Full Size

The Junior-Senior Prom of 1951 was held at the Ellwood City Country Club on May 23, 1951. Senior Gerald “Jerry” Patterson served as the toastmaster. Full Size

The side of the school building. (1952) Full Size

The Stars & Stripes flies proudly in front of the former schoolhouse. (Nov 2010)

The view of the former school from Route 168/Eastbrook Road. (Nov 2010)

The cornerstone shows the year construction was started. (Nov 2010)

Another view of the former school, now part of the Eastbrook Apartments. (Nov 2010)

A rear view of the former schoolhouse. (Nov 2010)

A look at the east side of the building reveals how it was built into the hillside. (Nov 2010)

The sign in front of the former school building. (Nov 2010)

Looking east along Route 168 into the town of Eastbrook. (Nov 2010)


  1. Thanks to the person who put up this site. I’ve been looking for the collection of yearbooks for Eastbrook if one exists. If you have any ideas I would appreciate it.

    Charlene Key Sokal

  2. This was 1965/1966/67…was 5th & 6th grade ONLY…..Eastbrook School….not 1970

  3. I want to 5th and 6th grade at Eastbrook and the years where 1972 and 1973 My Mom(Edie McAnany-Cade)graduated from Eastbrook High School 1955

  4. I am looking for early Eastbrook pictures. Does anyone have a picture of the school building before the 1926 building was constructed? I have a picture of the 1913-1914 class and I can’t identify anyone but I am guessing that I am related to someone in the picture.

  5. I remember attending East Brook high school as 7th,10th & 1/2 of 11TH grades in the late 50’S, My grandfather Arno Krause painted the backdrop for the stage in the building,( would like to see Picture of his work) also had an aunt Wilda Krause who taught at this school. My uncles Fred Krause and Charles Krause and aunt Julia Krause Mazur and cousin George Mazur graduated from East Brook High School. the best teacher i had was Mae McConaghy 7th grade.

  6. I taught 6th grade at Eastbrook School in the years 1967-1970. It was only 5th and 6th grades at that time. My father Kenneth Leroy Kennedy graduated in the first graduating class in this school
    (Eastbrook High School).

  7. I went to 5th & 6th grade at Eastbrook from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1961 and those were the only 2 grades in the school.

  8. I attended Eastbrook in 5th and 6th grades, the 63-64 and 64-65 school years. It was only 5th and 6th grades. Grades 1-4 were at Harlansburg, Princeton, or Hickory Heights.

  9. The introduction (second paragraph)says that there were six class rooms on the bottom floor and two, plus the gym, on the top.
    This is reversed. The gymnasium and two class rooms were on the lower floor and six above. I graduated there in 1952.

  10. Graduated from East Brook school in 1969 and 1970. I remember a school project of us building the Lunar Lander mock up in the gym .We used a lot of tin foil. Only had the 5th and 6th grades there. My, how times have changed.The gym was used for many purposes.It was also used as a place of assembly and I believe it had a stage behind it for performances.

  11. message to Gabriel Strizzi, i remember your father Ennio well, he saved my first fingers on both hands when i was a youth on the desalvo farm.

  12. I went to first grade in this building. It housed 1 thru 12th. Then attended Hickory Heights 2 thru 5th. Then back to East Brook for 6th grade and graduated 1955. Just to make clear never moved from same area.

  13. Both of my parents attended East Brook High School and my grandfather owned one of two service stations in East Brook. My mother would have graduated in about 1943 and my father would have left school in about 1940 to work with my grandfather. They fell in love at East Brook High School, married after my father returned from the war, and had 19 happy years together before my father passed away suddenly in 1965. My mother joined him in 1980. They often spoke about their happy days at East Brook High School.

  14. The roof of the building held a square, slotted box type bell tower where the bell was rung (at laest through the years I went there). Was in commentor 6’s, Miss Kennedy then, fifth grade class at top of stairs first to the right and across from Mr Maitis’ (the principle at the time) room. We went there for reading class.

    I have a few pictures of the ball field and students from 66-68, My Father, Jim Strawhecker, and teacher Mr. Cole, parked on of the buses in the small garage at the end of the pavement play lot to right of school.

    The memories of Tom Hannah are correct. Two rooms downstairs, the gym actually half a floor lower, six plus bathrooms upper area, back doors exited to large grassy playground area and baseball field

  15. My mother is 97 and a 1939 graduate of East Brook High School. How can we contact any of her classmates?

  16. My dad, Morris Edie, graduated from East Brook High in 1931 or 1932.

  17. My grandfather graduated from Eastbrook in 1939. I have his Eastbrook High School class ring from when he graduated.

    i have a few pictures of the class ring if you would like them


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