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Hickory Heights School - Hickory Twnp PA

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The Hickory Heights Public School, as the facade reads in this photo, was officially dedicated during a ceremony on Friday, February 16, 1923. The six-room brick school, with Ralph D. Wadding serving as the principal, opened about a month prior with three teachers and 131 pupils and generally replaced the old Rhodes School. The Rhodes schoolhouse, which also served as a Sunday School since 1912, is long gone but was once located at the current site of the Evangelical Community Church on nearby Wellman Lane. (c1930)

The Hickory Heights School was built on a 3.5-acre site located on Hickory Drive. The two-story school, which cost just over $31,440, opened in early 1923 with three teachers that included Lillian Martin, Edith Vogan, and Belle McKnight. (c1924) Full Size

The faculty of the Hickory Heights School from the 1951-52 school year. These seven teachers oversaw 187 students in what I believe were grades 1-5. (1951) Full Size

Unlike the city schools of nearby New Castle the Hickory Heights schoolhouse sat on a picturesque hill with a great view of the surrounding countryside. You can see part of the two-room addition that was built onto the back of the school in the summer of 1950. At the same time the basement was remodeled into a recreation room. (Nov 2010)

Today the old schoolhouse appears to be in great shape and is currently home to the Hickory Colony Apartments. (Nov 2010)

A view of the front of the former school, which became known as the Hickory (Heights) Elementary School when the Hickory Township School District joined with those of Slippery Rock and Scott Townships to form the new Laurel Joint School District in early 1955. (Nov 2010)

The front of the former school, which is located on Hickory Drive just off of Route 108/Harlansburg Road. (Nov 2010)

The school served the Laurel School District until it was closed in December 1978 with the opening of the new Laurel Elementary School. (Nov 2010)

It’s a blessing that this building survives in such good shape while so many other county schools of the same era have since been torn down. (Nov 2010)

The remaining students of the old Hickory Heights Elementary School were transferred to the new Laurel Elementary School beginning on Wednesday, December 13, 1978. The abandoned school building was sold for $22,000 in late January 1979. After some zoning issues were worked out it was remodeled in a 12-unit apartment building. The new Hickory Colony Apartments opened in the summer of 1980. (Aug 2013) Full Size

(Aug 2013)

(Aug 2013)


  1. I lived at the upper end of Croton (family was the Valentino family) and spent many evenings playing at the school. There was a ball field and an apple orchard to the left of the school – we played ball and ate the apples….This school brings back some vivid memories of evening and the sun setting as it cast its evening glow on the front of the school. I went to Croton Elementary but always wanted to go to Hickory..thanks for bringing back warm childhood feelings and memories…..

  2. I went to Hickory Heights school back in 1946 or 1947. I attended that school until my father passed away in 1951 when I was 10yrs. old. Is there any way I could get a list of the kids that went there at the same time as I did? I am 72yrs. old now & I really can’t remember their names. I live in Illinois now, but still have family back in New Castle, Pa. which I will be returning to visit this July.

    Please Advise.

  3. I went to k and 1st grade here. I remember the teacher ringing the old bell! I think the old bell is now on display in the Laurel Elementary School. Good memories!

  4. My mother went to this school briefly, and my grandparents owned the farm and the orchards next to the ball field.

    I spent many a summer there, playing ball by day and eating apples while climbing trees in the evening. The stars were incredible from that hill!

  5. i went to grade school here. of the teachers in picture, i had pleasure of being taught by 5.

    After marriage i had two children that attended grade school there and they had two of the same teachers. Their father also attended grade school here.

  6. anyone out there have a first grade picture 1944?

  7. I attended Hickory Heights 1st through 7th grade. The faculty above were wonderful teachers.

  8. I went to school there in 1st grade, probably 1946.

  9. My mother, Olive Garlo Shaw( Kennedy) taught in this school in 1929. The precious year( 1928) she taught in Mt. Hope School, Wayne School district, Lawrence County. Part of her job there was to sweep floors and make the fire. I believe this was a one room school house but have not been able to find any information other than her signed contract.

  10. went here 1st grade thru 6th grade and 8th grade

  11. I attended Hickory Heights from 1st almost through 6th grade. I say almost because just when we became 6th graders they moved the 6th grade to East Brook High School. So we were the top class in the school for about a week and then demoted to the bottom class in another building. I was a year ahead of Sam Audia and Edie McAnany Cade was in my class.(previous commenters to this site.) Thanks for the picture of the teachers.

  12. I had a lot of trials and tribulation at Hickory Mrs McCreay was my second grade teacher who had a hard time converting me from being left handed to right handed. She used a hand ruler on my left hand trying to change me to be right handed. But she lost the battle. I am still left handed. I had Mrs Carrick for 2 years, had a problem with math..In working for the State of Arkansas my job title was Accounting Tech( bookkeeper) So the math became my job. Interesting! In 5th or 6th grade I got into a fight with a girl in the girls restroom which was in the basement and the principal Mrs McCleary was summed to the basement and broke up the fight and I was taken to her office and she used a six inch long and probably 1 inch paddle,. Those were my trials in elementary school. They were never bad memories but a learning experience. I still keep in contact with grade school thru 12th friends. What a life compared to what students go through now with bullying and drugs. Grade school really made me be a stronger person. I do have group pictures from grade school. Will cherish them. Thank you for creating Lawrance County Memoirs.

  13. Hello All,

    Went to Hickory Heights from 1st grade, Sept 1964 to 4th grade, June of 1968. I had Mrs McCreary for second grade, Miss Carrick ( the principle ) for third grade and Miss Raab for fourth grade. Did not see Mrs Smith that I had in 1st grade in the photo above. Went to Eastbrook School for my 5th and 6th grades then on to the Laurel high school. Does anybody remember the Jungle Jim that we used to play on near the back parking lot?

  14. I went to Hickory Heights from 1st-4th grade in the mid 60’s.

    1st Grade-Mrs. Sickafuse
    2nd Grade- Mrs. Chapan
    3rd Grade- Mrs. Beatty
    4th Grade- Mrs. Kuntz

    I remember we were given Pieces of Slate and Chalk to do our Math on in 1st Grade. Mrs. Sickafuse was famous for throwing a shoe at you if you misbehaved..ahh the good old days.

  15. Went to this school for awhile about 1955 remember miss carrick and i remember a girl i was friends with called linda hawthorne she was a polio victim could not go on jungle gym so i usually stayed with her some good memories i still have 1 of my old school pictures from there


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