The first school was kept in the building of Mosser & White in the spring of 1872. During the spring the ground since occupied by a school building was secured, and in June a school-house was built. It appears to have been a temporary affair, for a new one was soon afterward needed.

Aug. 31, 1872, the following announcement was made in the News:  "The first regular annual school meeting in clam Lake will be held at the school-house Monday evening, Sept. 2. Several important questions will come before the meeting, among which is that of building a new and suitable school building, one that will be a credit to the place. It is hoped that every voter and property holder in Clam Lake will be present next Monday evening, to aid in carrying out every measure that will tend to promote and increase the educational interests o the place."

The school census was taken in September, and according to the report the village had 105 children between the ages o five and twenty years. During the fall the school-house was repaired, and December 16 the winter term commenced , with C. L Frazier as principal, and Miss Nettie Brink as assistant in the primary department.

The spring term opened April 28, with George Addison, of Big Rapids, as principal, and Miss Born assistant. One hundred pupils were enrolled the first month.

In September, 1878, the News referred to the school-house as follows: "There is going to be not quite a new school-house this fall, but an addition to the one now in use for the primary department. The whole building when completed will be thirty-six feet long and the same width as now. The school board have determined to reseat the whole building with good iron seats which can be used in the new building when it is built."

In November, 1878, the News contained the following mention of the school:

"We paid our village school a visit this week. The first thing that attracted our notice on nearing the school ground, was the growth of the school building. The primary department has been enlarged by the addition of sixteen feet to the east end, making its total length thirty-two feet -- no more than sufficient to accommodate the sixty pupils now registered in this department. Upon the west end of the main room is being added sixteen feet, intended for a recitation room, which is much needed on account of the present crowded condition of the school.

"The two departments are under the management of Mr. George Addison as principal, and Miss Born assistant; both are highly prosperous and reflect credit upon the teachers. On entering the grammar department, we found present about sixty pupils under the tuition of Mr. Addison. We were pleased to notice the interest manifested upon the part of the pupils, and the system and good order prevailing throughout. It is clearly evident that there is too much work for one teacher in this room. The four grades of pupils necessitate a large number of recitations, which greatly shortens the time allotted to each. We hope that the school board will see this matter in its true light, and employ an assistant for this department as soon as the room is ready for use.

"We now pass the primary department under the supervision of Miss Born. Here we find present forty bright youths, in early the same crowded condition; but a prospect for a better state of things, as the new room is to be seated next week, which will make sufficient room for all. We withhold all criticisms, knowing the many disadvantages under which the teacher has labored. Miss Born is a thorough, earnest worker, and is doing all that can be done with the conveniences at hand."

Rev. W. L. Tilden, pastor of the M. E. Church, taught during the winter of 1874.

In March, 1874, the News said: "Prof. W. A., Fallass, of Lowell, has been secured as principal of the village school of this place for the coming term. He will enter upon his duties the 9th of April. We are glad to welcome Prof. Fallass to our midst, knowing him to be a thorough gentleman and a good scholar."

The rapid growth of the village soon made increased school accommodations necessary, and August, 1876, a new school building was completed, which was described in the News as follows:

'The new school building is now fully completed, ready for the seating and furniture, which has been purchased of the Triumph School Desk Company, of Chicago, and is of the patent styled the "Triumph" which by the building committee was considered the very best desk and seat combined offered.

"The contract for the building, above the foundation, was let to Messrs. Mosser & White, builders, of this village, and was to have been completed by the 25th of this month. The contract for the foundation and plastering was taken by Charles Thompson, also of Clam Lake; and the furnishing of the doors, windows, and all the hardware of the entire building was undertaken by our enterprising hardware firm, Messrs. Hicks & Peck. The last mentioned firm also did the painting of the entire building.

'The main building is 28x102 feet, and the front of the building, containing the entrance and stairway, is 20x88 feet, exclusive of the open porches. This gives four very handsome school-rooms, 26 feet 4 inches, by 29 feet 4 inches, with a 13 foot ceiling, deadened floors, and complete ventilation. There are four very handsome open porches, which add beauty as well as utility to the house. There is also a closed opening into each room. The entrance and stairway are roomy and pleasant, and the stairs themselves are broad and easily climbed. The rail, etc., is of black walnut, giving a beautiful contrast to the white walls and woodwork surrounding them. A handsome belfry tops the front part of the building from which a view of the village, the lakes and the surrounding country can be had, such is not to be had from any other locality in or about Clam Lake.

'The contract price for the building above the foundation was $8,600."

This building was added to as was required. In the winter of 1880 it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt during the following summer.

The first term in the new building commenced in September, 1876, with Prof. H. S. Groesbeck, Miss Hattie Caswell and Miss Carrie Sipley as teachers.

Prof. Groesbeck remained until the fall of 1878, and was succeeded by Prof. F. C. Pifer, who remained one year, and was succeeded by Prof. H. M. Enos, the present principal.

The number of pupils enrolled in the fall of 1888 was 595, with an average number belonging of 444.









Cadillac, MI - Emerson School 1909 (above), McKinley School 1911 (right) contributed by Paul Petosky


Mesick, MI - High School 1906 - (above)

Harlan Grade School (right)

contributed by Paul Petosky



Cadillac, MI - Cadillac Schools - Contributed by Gary G. Foster







 Mesick, MI High School (1957) - contributed by Matthew Preston