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Old Brick School (Hazel Dell School) - Ellwood City PA

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The Hazel Dell Schoolhouse, better known as the Old Brick School, was built on Glen Avenue (just east of the modern 5th Street Bridge) by local brickmason Adam Shoemaker in 1850. It stood on the south end of where the Old Covered Bridge spanned the Connoquenessing Creek. This school, actually in what became Ellwood City and not Hazel Dell proper, served the local community until it was closed in 1895. Full Size

A class photo taken at the Old Brick School in what had recently become the settlement of Ellwood City. The chalkboard is marked as, “Hazel Dell School Nov 12, 1889.” The teacher, in dark dress at right end, is Miss Ada McMillan. Their are only eleven different surnames among these twenty-nine students and they are Aiken, Book, Burns, Cole, Deemer, Francis, Hazen, Johnston, McMurdo, Newton, and Nye. Full Size


  1. I thought this school was on the corner of Line Avenue and College Street.

  2. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Chris, the Old Brick School (also known as the Hazel Dell School) was built in the 1850’s and located on what became Glen Avenue. The Hazel Dell School, built in 1892, was located at Line Avenue and College Street. This school was closed a few years (c1921) after the new North Side School was completed and opened for classes in February 1917. Some reports say it was on the SE corner of Line & College, but an article in the New Castle News of Sept 11, 1926, reads: “Men are busy tearing down the old school building on Line Avenue and College Street today. The building has been purchased by William Buquo, who has been given until March to get the old building out of the road, in order that the Bell Memorial church can go ahead with the excavating for the new church…” That makes it appear it was located on the NW corner. Anyway, work started on the new Bell Memorial Church in early 1928 but the Great Depression put an end to the effort. It was not until 1949 that the new church was finally completed. What’s confusing about the two schools in that they were both known as the “Hazel Dell School” at times. Jeff

  3. Jeff,

    Thanks for the clarification. :) I lived on the 500 block of First Avenue, a stones throw from the corner of Line and College. I think you are right that the school was on the SE corner; where the YMCA is now. The vacant lot next to the Y always appeared as if something was once there. Not sure if you have driven by, but if you do, you will see what I mean.

  4. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Chris, upon further review I have to make a correction to my above post. The Hazel Dell School was located on the SE corner of Line Avenue and College Street. This is what happened. In about 1902 the Bell Memorial Presbyterian Church was erected on the NW corner of that intersection. In 1922 the church purchased the old school, which had closed about a year prior, and planned to build a new church at that site. The school was demolished in 1926 and work on the new church began in 1928. The Great Depression gripped the nation beginning in late 1929 and construction progress was slowed – and stopped altogether in 1933. The partially-built church was soon sold and the building became home to various businesses over the years to include the Jesse Jeans Co and the Ellwood City Knitting Mill. In the 1960’s the Bell Church reacquired the property and opened the Bell Memorial Youth Center. A civic group purchased the property in 1975 and retained the community center, until the YMCA moved into the facility in 1982. Jeff

  5. My grandfather lived on Hazel Dale Street in the colliery outside Centralia, PA. 1880-1887.
    Any school records that might list his name or those of his parents?


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