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Mulleintown/West Side School - New Castle PA

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In January 1893 the old West Side or Mulleintown School, on West Washington Street, burned down and the above photo is architect C.C. Thayer’s rendering of the new schoolhouse that was built in its place. The surrounding area known as Mulleintown was laid out in 1836 by Ezekial Sankey, but I’m not sure where the name came from. The only “Mullein” reference I can find is a herb known as the “velvet plant” that is known to help ease the symptoms of asthma. (c1894) Full Size

The West Side School was built soon after the old school was destroyed by a fire in January 1893. In the late 1950’s efforts got underway to replace this school with a newer structure at the same general location. This old school remained in use until the new West Side School, which was built right alongside it, opened in September 1960. The old schoolhouse was razed as the new building neared completion. (c1902) Full Size

A class photo from the West Side School from the 1899-1900 school year. The chalkboard is marked, “May 21, 1900.” The teacher, standing on left in white shirt, is identified as Jenny McMullen. Take notice of the three boys without shoes. Full Size

Another class photo from the 1899-1900 school year, taken the same day as the previous photo on May 21, 1900. The teacher, standing on left with black collar, is Miss Minnie Tucker (1872-1956), who taught at the West Side School for an amazing forty-eight years from 1892-1940. The back of this photo names a few of the students including the Mayberry twins, which I’m guessing may be the two boys dressed alike on the bottom left on the photo – although there are two similarly attired boys at the top right. Full Size

A 1931-32 report card from the West Side School belonging to Mary Jane Wright, a fifth grader residing at #205 Bluff Street. (1932)

The Kindergarten diploma of Dee Dee Laird from the West Side Elementary School. (1981) (Courtesy of Dee Dee Laird) Full Size

The new West Side Elementary School, built alongside the old school, opened for classes in September 1960. As it neared completion the old school building was torn down. Consolidation efforts saw it renamed as the West Side Primary Center in June 1988, housing students in grades 1-3. When the new Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center was nearing completion the West Side Primary Center was closed for good in early July 2014. The building was soon put up for sale in a sealed bid process. The winning bid of $91,000, from the mental health support center known as Patches Place, was accepted in late October 2014. The process is still pending final approval. (Mar 2012)

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  1. I would like to make a correction – the West Side School is not in Union Township, it is in fact within the New Castle city lines. The Union Township border is approximately 3/4 to 1 mile west of the school.

  2. if you look at the pics of the modern day school you’ll notice part of the old school in front and on the right of the bldg. look at the old pics and notice the stones used on the basement.

  3. The photos of the old school just doesn’t look like the school I remember. I was in one of the two last 6th grade classes moving onto George Washington Junior High graduating from West Side. The next school term began in the new school. There are no Fire Escapes in the Photo of the Old West Side School above…one of the ‘Key’ parts of my nostalgia! Anyone know when they added the Fire Escapes or have a Photo of the school with them? I resided very nearby so I know a lot of details about it as it became part of my childhood and a playground during off school hours.

  4. The Stone Walls were there prior to the last newer school being built..behind the stone walls stood large Buckeye trees where many a game of ‘Marbles’ were played around them.


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