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Sunny Avenue School - Union Twnp PA

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In July 1922 Union Township school officials announced plans, to alleviate overcrowding, to build a new two-story schoolhouse in the Oakland section and to enlarge the Scotland Lane Public School (High School). Work on the “new Oakland School,” a four-room brick building designed by the W. G. Eckles Company, soon began on a hilltop site encompassing three acres. Even though the school’s main entrance faced Division Street it was soon given the official name of the Sunny Avenue School. The school opened with 148 students in early February 1923 and was officially dedicated on April 5, 1923. After it opened the old Oakland School – two aged buildings on Bluff Street – was closed. The new school, which served primarily as an elementary level facility, was in service until it was eventually closed in June 1966. I believe the building was razed in 1973. The lot – with its two playground areas – sat vacant for many years, but a private home was recently built on part of the site. (1932) (Photo courtesy of Joan Hemming) Full Size

The Sunny Avenue School opened on February 1, 1923, with four teachers serving 148 pupils in grades 1-6. This class photo is from the 1935-36 school year. (1935) (Joan Hemming photo) Full Size

A class from the 1936-37 school year at Sunny Avenue School. (1936) (Joan Hemming photo) Full Size

A aerial view from 1939 depicting the location of the Sunny Avenue School. The school was named for Sunny Avenue even though the school fronted Division Street, presumably as it was planned to expand the school towards Sunny Avenue. You can see the area was not very built up at that time. (1939) Full Size

The original plan was to expand this school in coming years but I do not believe that ever happened. The above photo depicts a class from the Sunny Avenue School during the 1938-39 school year. (1938) (Joan Hemming photo) Full Size

The photo depicts a class from the 1940-41 school year. (1940) (Joan Hemming photo) Full Size

The former site of the Sunny Avenue School at the intersection of West Division and Mt. Pleasant Streets. The school was located at the far end of the old blacktopped playgrounds. (Mar 2012) Full Size

(Mar 2012)

(Mar 2012)

(Mar 2012) Full Size


  1. I never attended school at Sunny Avenue School, but my younger brother Clark did. We lived a couple blocks away on Williams St.

  2. I never attend school there but lived right across the street from there. I remember the summer school they had because we looked forward to it with a brother and a sister. It was things they made to keep the kids busy. It was crafts stuff. We sure did enjoy it. I remembering playing with my little brother and and it was storming and the chimney got hit by lighting It scared me! Old memories.

  3. My cousin, Jean VanWinkle, lives in Washington state and is searching for a friend, Martha Jo Hill. They attended Sunny Avenue grade school together. If someone could give her my email address, I would pass it on to Jean. Thank you

  4. Where was the schoolhouse located on Blufff? I also remember reading somewhere there was a cemetery on Bluff as well.can you look into it when you have time? Thank you

  5. This is in response to the note from Bobbi Morris on 12-16-2016 requesting information about my sister, Martha Jo Hill, for her cousin Jean VanWinkle. If Bobbie or Jean would contact me I could update them on Martha who is now living in New Wilmington. Martha and all we Hill kids attended Sunny Ave School.


  7. In response to K Bollinger on 08-03-2018:
    I grew up on High St in the 60’s. What we referred to as the “ old school” or the “bum school” was at the corner of Sunny Ave and Bluff. There was just one building partially standing then. We were told bums and hobos camped there and were terrified of the place.


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