Harrison Elementary School
Harrison Elementary was the last school to be built under the Administration of Public Works Program. The cost of construction was shared by the federal and county governments. The federal share was 45 percent, the highest grant awarded any county until that time. Bonds for the local share of the cost were issued on July 1, 1938. An earlier bond issue had failed to gain public approval. The school was built on a 10-acre site purchased from Fletcher H. and Helen Irene Bacon for seven hundred fifty dollars. The architect was the R. H. Hunt Company, and the contractor was the L. A. Warlick Company. Construction was begun on October 17, 1938 and completed on June 11, 1939. The total cost of construction, including architect's fees and purchase of property was $87,723.44. Cost of the equipment was $4,635.84. The original building contained 9 classrooms, a 390- seat auditorium, a cafeteria equipped with 8 tables and 64 stools, a library, and an office. The 8-by-10-foot kitchen was furnished with a coal stove, hot water tank, and four fire extinguishers. Water was supplied by a well. Drinking fountains and wash basins were installed, but the water supply was not sufficient to furnish bathroom facilities. Harrison and Oak Hill, which had been located on the corner of Highway 58 and Hickory Valley Road, were consolidated. The Oak Hill School was abandoned completely. The school opened in September 1939 with a faculty of six and 191 students. There was no playground and no grass. The students, teachers, and parents worked together on the grounds, planting grass and shrubs. Their efforts were rewarded with a prize for beautification of school grounds. In 1941, the school received a 750-dollar NYA grant for grounds improvement.
During World II, the school was used as an agency to register soldiers and issue rationing stamps. The principal during those years contributed many additional hours to this work. Miss Martha Bean and Miss Angie Fleeman organized and filed old Harrison and Oak Hill records and delivered surplus government commodities to disadvantaged families in the community. Rex Richey delivered cafeteria supplies to the school. For a time, breakfast was served in the cafeteria. Sulfur fumes from the TNT plant created a problem. The fumes were sometimes so strong that the children couldn't go outside to play. Fortunately, the school contained empty classrooms which could be used for recreation.
In 1945, the Kings Point School burned, and Harrison hosted Kings Point students for about three years, until that school was replaced. In September 1948, a fire started spontaneously in the stage dressing room. Nancy Kelly, one of Mrs. Paden's students, discovered the fire during recess. The fire department from the Volunteer Ordnance Works responded to Mrs. Troutman's call. It was necessary to cut a hole in the roof to extinguish the flames, a task which required almost two hours. The stage curtains, a piano, some books, and other equipment were destroyed. For several years during the fifties the school taught seven grades.
In 1952 the seventh grade fielded a baseball team, with Virginia Webb coaching. The team won the knot-hole championship. During the fifties, pipes were laid to bring water to Harrison. Mr. Mayberry wanted to install plumbing facilities at the school and have bathrooms ready for use when the water line was completed. An appropriation wasn't available for the work, but the bathrooms were installed anyway -- at the rate of one fixture a month -- and charged to maintenance. The day after the water was connected, Mr. Mayberry heard a commotion and went to investigate. The disturbance was coming from the cafeteria. The water pressure had blown up the water tank on the back of the coal stove, flooding the kitchen and ruining the stove. The cafeteria staff cleaned up the mess and served sandwiches for lunch. A new electric stove was purchased and installed, but the school wasn't getting enough power to operate it properly. For several months, Mrs. McGee and her staff managed to serve hot lunches with only one burner and the oven operable. Eventually, a substation was built near Hickory Valley Road, solving the power problem. With an adequate power supply, the cafeteria staff was hampered only by limited work- space. In 1964, four classrooms, a new and larger cafeteria, and kitchen and two bathrooms were added to the school. Remodeling converted the office into a lounge, the library into an office, and the cafeteria into a library. Plans were drawn by the firm of Hunt, Caton, and Holt. The contractor was L. J. Baker, Jr. The total cost of the addition was $148,521.00. The cost of equipment was $20,674.62. The addition was completely funded by bonds authorized on November 6, 1962. Construction was completed in March 1964.
A school qualifies for a secretary when its enrollment reaches 350. Harrison's first secretary was Betty Adamson, assigned in 1965. In 1967, Quintard Whittle took over the job. In 1970, Vance Wilson, Child Development Consultant, was added to the faculty. In 1971, Mary Ann Potter was assigned to the school in a position she described as principal-in-training. Her time was divided equally between Harrison and Ooltewah Elementary Schools. On December 15, 1972, Miss Potter was appointed principal of Bess T. Shepherd School. Both Miss Potter and Mr. Wilson hold the distinction of being a "first and only" for Harrison Elementary School.
About ten years ago, real estate developers discovered Harrison and launched a furious building campaign in the community. The resulting student invasion was more than the school was prepared to handle. Throughout its existence the school's growth had been leisurely, if not occasionally regressive. Suddenly, it was overflowing with students. In 1959, the enrollment was 310, an increase of 119 over a period of twenty years. During the next six years, about 50 students were added. Between 1965 and 1972, the school's enrollment doubled. The teaching staff doubled during Mr. Bean's seven years with the school -- from 10 in 1964-65 to 20 in 1970-71.
Classrooms were improvised to accommodate the expanding school population. Classes were conducted on the auditorium stage, in the library, and even in the teachers' lounge. Portable teaching units, each containing four classrooms, were set up at the school in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
On April 13, 1972, Syd Lang, Contractor, began construction of a B-classroom addition to the school. Edwin E. Howard was the architect. The cost of this addition was $171,500.00. The classrooms were occupied in early September.
Harrison Elementary's current enrollment is 762 students, 41 faculty members, 8 cafeteria workers, and 1 custodian. There are 32 regular classrooms, 2 special education classrooms, a Chapter I classroom, and a speech and language classroom. The remainder of the faculty consists of a music teacher, physical education teacher, librarian and guidance counselor.
Fiftieth Anniversary and History of Harrison Elementary School - 1989
Submitted by Susan Kendall SusieQ1160@aol.com
Lookout Mountain School
In 1878, the “Little Red School House” opened as the first school on Lookout Mountain, serving residents in both Tennessee and Georgia. Over the years, Tennessee’s population continued to grow and by 1900, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, had a new school. In 1927, Lookout Mountain School (LMS) was turned over to the Hamilton County School Board, and a new building was erected at its present location in 1929. LMS became the first school in Hamilton County to begin a planned schedule of school desegregation in 1962.
Brothers Spencer Jarnigan and James "Park" McCallie founded the school in 1905, which remained under the control of the family until a Board of Trustees assumed management of the school in 1937.
Founded as an all-boys school, McCallie became a military school in the wake of World War I, with students wearing uniforms and participating in military drills.
In 1970, McCallie dropped its military program as a result of admission challenges during the Vietnam era.
While the school's Board of Trustees agreed to allow the admission of African American students beginning with day students in 1969 and boarding students in 1970, the school did not admit its first African American student, David Chatman, until 1972.
Montgomery Avenue Colored School
Originally named Montgomery Avenue Colored School, later renamed Main Street Colored School after Montgomery Avenue became Main Street. In 1881, this public school, originally housed in a church building, became the first in Chattanooga to have an African American teacher assigned to teach African American students. The circa 1890s building was built to accommodate Chattanooga's growing African American population, as were East Fifth Street and East Eighth Street Schools.
A Two-story brick building with triple stone arched entry, steep pitched roof with two front gable dormers, side gable dormer also visible on left side, and center steeple with gothic cupola. A low stone wall marks the boundary of the property and utility poles, and wires are visible in front of the building. There were small bare trees out front, and a low modern-looking horizontal structure behind, with a square brick smokestack behind it.
Oak Hill School
Oak Hill School no longer exists and very little is known of its history. The school was located in the Highway 58 area below Harrison in Hamilton County. The exact location and dates of its existence are unknown. According to an 1887-88 County School report, Oak Hill was one of two schools located in Harrison. To date, no records from this early Hamilton County school have been found.
An academy was established in Harrison in 1838. Depending on the source this school was the Harrison Academy, Harrison Male Academy, Hamilton Academy, or the Hamilton Male and Female Academy. It was operated by the State of Tennessee or the Harrison Masonic Lodge and was private, semi-private, or public. Possibly the school was all of these. Its charter was changed several times over the years. On November 12, 1867, the Tennessee State Legislature passed an Act transferring control of the Harrison Male Academy to Masonic Lodge 114. Between 1867 and 1873, the academy became the Hamilton Male and Female Academy. The school was closed about 1890.
Red Bank High School
Red Bank High School began as an extension to the one-year-old Red Bank Junior High School in 1938. Recognizing that the original plans for the school serving grades 7, 8, and 9 were not fulfilling the needs of the Red Bank community and surrounding areas, the Hamilton County Board of Education added a 10th grade in 1938, an 11th grade in 1939, and finally a 12th grade in 1940.
During the three years of movement toward being a complete high school, Red Bank High School created its unique identity in the area. Blue and white were chosen as the school’s colors, and the Lion was selected as the mascot. A school newspaper was created called the Blue and White, while the yearbook was named the Roar. The school's colors of blue and white, with the addition of red from the name, creates the three colors the American flag consists of, which is the reason why those two colors were chosen. The first senior class, consisting of 50 students, graduated in 1941.
Due to the booming population growth in the area of the school, the Board of Education built several additions to the original building. Additions in 1939, 1944, and 1955 not only opened up new classrooms but also provided an auditorium, a band room, a music room, and athletic facilities. With the opening of a new Red Bank Junior High School in 1960, grades 7 – 9 were removed from Red Bank High School, opening up much more space for the increasing school population and for a much-needed home economics department. During the 1970 – 1971 school year, a new cafeteria, study hall, and gymnasium were added, and the old cafeteria space was renovated for use by the JROTC department.
Recognizing that the limited acreage of the campus on Dayton Boulevard prohibited further growth, Red Bank High School changed campuses with Red Bank Junior High School in the summer of 1982. The new campus on Morrison Springs Road offered 54 acres of space for new growth and development. Four new additions to the campus have provided valuable facilities. In 1982, a wing was built to house the JROTC department, and in 1983 a new football stadium was completed. Then in 1986 a wing was built to accommodate the move of the 9th grade back into the Red Bank High School student body, and in 1991 a wing was opened with a new gymnasium, cafeteria, conference room, and library, as well as offices and classrooms.