Lamont School
1855 - Built at east end of Lamont by Hiram Bateman
1899 - School moved by John Burdick to the Leverett Street side. 
Joined with Polkton School #3 to form "Union School".
1936 - Moved off its foundation, but still used as school.
1937 - Dismantled by Walt Bergman.  Students now attend Coopersville schools.

High School of Lamont, also known as the Union School. It was built in 1855 by Hiram Bateman. (Note: The 1837-1937 Lamont Centennial Book determined that it was built in 1862.)

Township records (Loose Files, Volume 1, page 154) show 1855 to be correct.
(NOTE: The first Lamont School was built by 1842.)

The Lamont High School had two floors. The upper floor was one room. The lower floor had a classroom on the west and an "exercise room" on the east end which was also called the the "east room". Grades 1 through 5 were held downstairs, while grades 6 through 10 were held upstairs. Grades 11 and 12 were held at Coopersville. Miss Dora Robinson was teacher of the elementary grades for forty years, while Mr. Martin Bouwma taught the upper grades.

The girls outhouse seen at the right corner. The boys outhouse was in the left corner of the school and is not visible.

In February of 1937, Mr. Walter Bergman, Sr. bought the Lamont High School for $310.00. It was over 80 years old and needed to be replaced. Mr. Bergman salvaged the wood and built a barn on the property of the Rasch farm in Section 13, Wright Township.

(M. Stehouwer collection)


The Lamont School

Modern Building Replaces School Built in 1862
(22 January 1937 - The Observer)

February 1, 1937, will mark the passing of one of the oldest schools in Ottawa county, for on that day pupils in the Lamont school will begin their studies in the new, modern two-room structure which has replaced the old building, built in 1862.

This old landmark, now worn and decrepit, has for 75 years been the educational and social center for the community. It was built in 1862, in the east end of Lamont at a cost of $1,500, with lumber sawed at Bass River and taken by boat to Lamont. The bell was taken from the steamer "Empire" when a whistle was installed to inform passengers of the arrival and leaving. The old bell, however, is still to send its message over the air, as it has been moved to the new building. The old school was moved to its present location in 1895, by John Burdick, who also moved it off its foundation to make room for the present building.

Work on the new school was begun in August, 1936, after the $9,000 project, had received the approval of the Federal WPA authorities. The cost of the building is borne by both the government and the local school district, the cost to the local taxpayers being about 40 percent of the total cost. The work has been in charge of Walter Bergman, superintendent, and about ten men have been given steady employment since the inauguration of the project.

The new school is 48 x 48 feet and consists of one story and a full basement. The walls are of brick construction, and the entire building follows the latest ideas in two-room school construction, both as to construction and lighting. Each room is approximately 22 x 34 feet, the grade room being on the west and high school room on the east. Each room is well lighted, and the woodwork and walls which are tod be left in the natural finish also help to make them light. Each room has its own toilet and cloak room, cupboards, etc., and has new blackboards.

The basement houses the modern heating plant, equipped with fan, regulator and thermostat, so that the heat will always be kept at an even temperature. In addition to the furnace and coal rooms, there is a room with about 1700 feet of floor space, which will be used as an auditorium, where general meetings of both the grade and high school pupils may be held, and which will be used by the community for gatherings of the Community Club and other groups. The school will thus continue, as in the past, to be the center for social events in Lamont.

Pupils in the school are taking a belated Christmas vacation, while the seats are being refinished, and moving operations from the old to the new building are taking place. However the education of the pupils is continuing even during this vacation period, for trips to the Grand Rapids Press, courthouse at Grand Haven, and other industries and public buildings, have been arranged by the principal, Martin Bouwma, for those in the ninth and tenth grades.

Lamont is to be congratulated on its fine new building, which has been made possible through the cooperation of the district and the federal government. The members of the school board have given considerable time and thought to the new project and have a perfect right to be proud of the school, which a few years ago was but a dream in the minds of many in the district. Members of the board are: Jacob Ruster, secretary; Art Modderman, treasurer; Henry Slaughter, Ben Harmsen and William, Nanninga.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 21 April 2012