East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

Milk Break, Hawthorne School, ca. 1925

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on September 9, 2011

Did you or a relative go to an East Side School? We’re planning a presentation on Emerson School for our November 2011 meeting. Memories of Emerson and other schools welcome here!

When Joan Phalen was doing some research for the East Side History Club in the Dane County Register of Deeds Office she met Peter Ellestad, who works there. Peter said that his mother Maxine Hynum went to Hawthorne School and that he had a picture of her and her classmates enjoying a milk break in the kindergarten class ca. 1924. Maxine Hynum is the girl under the window sipping from her bottle of milk.  At the time, she and her family lived at 2213 E Washington Ave.

Maxine Hynum and classmates enjoying a milk break in the Hawthorne School kindergarten class ca. 1924.

Here is a short history of Hawthorne School:

In 1859 the Township of Madison established the Northeast District School to serve that area of the town of Madison as well as the northwest area of the town of Blooming Grove.  It was located on the north half of lots 25 & 26 of Farwell’s Eastern Addition, i.e. 220 Division St.  By 1871 there was a small red brick building on the site and eventually it became known as the Dunning School, for Philo & Sophia Dunning who had a farm and house (still standing) nearby, 2212-2216 St. Paul Ave.

In April 1902 an article in the Wisconsin State Journal stated the the building was “inadequate to the demands made upon it. At present time there are 61 puples, all belonging to the first, second and thrid grades.  THE ROOM is overcrowded, more so than any other in the city.” By September another article said that the pupils “will attend school in the room over Fred Schenk’s new store.”

In December it was reported that “the new school house, a modern 4-room building, is accommodating the vast number of children in fine style. The little ones were very glad to get into the new quarters.  The thanks of the public are extended to Fred Schenk for granting the use of his new hall for school purposes but a school in a hall over a store is not always desirable but the little folks behaved themselves nicely.”  Another 4 room were added in 1905.

In 1904 the Madison school district accepts a recommendation from the Madison Woman’s Club to rename several Madison schools including the Northeast/Dunning School which became Nathaniel Hawthorne School.

Lowell (1916) & Emerson (1920) schools were built to accommodate the growth on the “northeast side” but still Hawthorne school had to use the old Fair Oaks village hall, 175 Talmadge Street, as an annex.

When Marquette and Lapham schools were built and opened in 1940, Hawthorne School was torn down and the site became a small neighborhood park.


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