If you went to Ecorse Schools, some of these scenes will be familiar to you. Please share your Ecorse School memories.
Cornerstone Laid For New Bunche School
A group of eager children look over their new school, the Ralph Bunche School, nearly completed in June 1953.
On Tuesday, June 2, 1953, formal cornerstone ceremonies were held and city officials and members of the contracting firms attended.
In the background, left to right, are Councilman John Bauer, Superintendent of Schools Ralph Brant, Mayor Louis Parker and Councilman Albert Buday.
Kindergarten Children Mother Baby Chicks
Mrs. Finn and School One kindergarten pupils (left to right) Terry Stapleton, Gaven McFarlane, Raymond Sablosky, Billy Subotich and Susan Sluka watch the chicks hatch.
In late March 1955, Mrs. Lynne Finn, kindergarten teacher at School One, purchased 60 fertilized eggs with money that her pupils had brought to school. Every day for three weeks the children cared for the eggs, taking them from the incubator to cool, and turning them twice a day to prevent the chicks from becoming deformed. Each egg was printed with a child’s name and placed in an incubator to hatch.
On the seventh day the children candled the eggs and saw the chick embryos inside. On the fourteenth day they used the candling method to observe how the embryos had grown.
The children celebrated the “birthdays” of 38 chicks the first three days of school during the week of April 1, 1955, and each “coming out” party was a noisy gathering as the children’s happy squeals mingled with the cheeping of the chicks. The excitement in the kindergarten room spread throughout School One and the children in the other lower classes visited the kindergarten room to watch the baby chicks hatch from their shells.
Mrs. Finn decided to continue the chick hatching as a class project and planned to keep the chicks in the kindergarten room. She hadn’t yet decided what to do with them if they grew to full size.
St. Francis High School
St. Francis Students Travel
The senior students from St. Francis Xavier High School in Ecorse prepare to leave for Lansing in May 1953. They planned to visit the state capitol and other interesting places in Lansing.
About forty St. Francis High School students visited the main banking building of the Security Bank in Ecorse in November 1952 to observe its operations. Shown are members of a class in Economics. Left to right Loretta Bella, Roberta Markle, Mary Margaret Ribley, Bank Senior Vice President Clarence Meade, Mrs. Blanche Hunt, Geraldine Wolan, Rena Grevalo, Mary Kay Hollobaugh, Jeanette Pisch, Gloria Gibbons, Rosalie Cosentino, Patricia Labadie. Each fall the Security Bank arranged for students to visit and get a thorough briefing on operating methods.
An Ecorse Bell
In July 1949, Ed McGee who lived at 26 E. Charlotte in Ecorse, harbored an unusual object in his back yard. The unusual object was one of the city’s oldest, largest and loudest bells, so loud that some Ecorse old timers said that when the bell rang it could be heard all of the way to Wyandotte.
The bell originally hung in the old Ecorse City Hall at High and Labadie Streets. Ed bought the hall last year for wrecking purposes and the bell came as part of the package.
After tearing up a section of flooring and hiring a crane, Ed managed to move the bell to his home on Charlotte Street.
Weighing more than half a ton, the bell was cast of nickel and bronze by the Northville Michigan Bell and Foundry Company, which had long since gone out of business. Ed and Ecorse old timers estimated the bell to be about sixty years old. It rang in countless Ecorse Fourth of July holidays, fires, and it called hundreds of city councils to meetings. The only older bell in Ecorse belonged to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
The Downriver Historical Society was interested in purchasing the bell and giving it a suitable inscription. The members wanted to mount the bell in the City Park or on the library lawn.
Ed McGee thought that would be a noble way to treat the old bell. “I sure would hate to see it melted down and sold for scrap,” he said.
The school bell stands in front of Ecorse High School at the corner of Outer Drive and Seventh Street and occupies a place of honor and a place of history in the community. The bell weighs more than 1,000 pounds and it hung for 42 years at Ecorse School One, High and Labadie, which was the only school in the village of Ecorse. it called generations of Ecorse young people to school, but in 1952, school officials decided that the bell was too heavy for the aging building and ordered it removed as a safety precaution.
The bell was removed from School One during the summer of 1952 and rather than melt it down, Ecorse school officials at the time decided to preserve it and to mount it on a high concrete base in front of the high school.