Early Graduates of Bay High School

Early Graduates of Bay High School

Congratulations to the recent Bay Village graduates of 2023!

In the Bay Village Historical Society archives, we have a small collection of photographs (mainly from the 1940s and earlier) of past Bay Village public school buildings, students and faculty. We also house a collection of objects, diplomas, programs, publications and other papers relating to Bay Village Schools up until the present day.

The following photos and diplomas are a sampling of this collection. Enjoy!

Vera Wuebker was a member of the first graduating class in Bay Village, in 1927. The high school, then at the corner of Wolf and Cahoon Roads, was known as Parkview High School. Before the Class of 1927, Bay high school students had to attend high schools in neighboring towns, 2021.BVS.09a, 2018.P.03.03.81

The 1934 Diploma of Colette Clement, 2021.23.03

Class of 1934 diploma photo insert, 2021.23.03C1934

Members of the Class of 1948 pose on a car, including Don Friend, standing at bottom left and holding a yearbook. Fun fact: This was the class with whom former New York Yankees principal owner and Bay resident, George Steinbrenner, was due to graduate, had he stayed in Bay Village for high school. He is listed as having attended at least one class reunion, which may speak to the affinity he had for this class, 2021.P.26.14.08

Don Friend’s diploma from 1948. The high school was now known officially as Bay High School, 2021.26.07

Six girls from the Class of 1948 look through their new yearbooks in front of Bay High School (the old Parkview building), 2021.P.26.14.04

This dance card, with a palm tree on the cover, is from the Junior-Senior Prom of 1955. “Dave” seems to be the lucky dance partner penciled in the most for that evening, 2021.BVS.10E

Class of 1955 pose on the steps of the old Parkview building (from the 1955 Bay Bluebook)

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If you are a graduate of Bay High School and would like to browse your old yearbooks, the Bay Village Historical Society has a collection going back to the early 1920s. High school yearbooks can be viewed on our website at www.bayhistorical.com.

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Come view beautiful examples of bead art during our latest exhibition Beadwork: The Beauty of Small Things at the Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village from 2:00-4:30 p.m. every Sunday through December (closed holiday weekends). Admission is free and our docent guides will be happy to direct you. Contact us by phone at (216) 319-4634 or email info@bayhistorical.com, with any questions.

Singing Christmas Tree

Singing Christmas Tree

by Michele Yamamoto

As the Bay High School Choirs prepare for another performance of holiday music this December, we at the Bay Village Historical Society decided to take a look into our archives for some history about the much-loved “Singing Christmas Tree.” Housed in our archives are programs from the first years of the tree and information on how the structure came to be.

Curt Crews, 1968 (Bay Bluebook)

Bay High Choir Director and Vocal Music Teacher Curt Crews (Walter Curtis Crews) was quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in December of 1960 that he got the idea for the tree from a news article about a similar structure in Denver, Colorado. The school in Denver that owned the structure sent Crews their own blueprints, but after calculating the costs, it seemed the price was too prohibitive for Bay High School to build one of its own. Earl Danielson, president of the Danco Metal Company, had children at Bay High School and he and his associates agreed to build and donate a tree to Bay High School which would otherwise have cost $5,000.

The Bay High Choir on the Singing Christmas Tree, 1960 Bay Bluebook

The tree took eight men four hours to assemble for its seasonal appearance. Because of the tree’s size, the annual Christmas performance had to be moved to the gym for its first appearance in 1959. This meant the lighting installation had to be adapted for the new space, which presented a challenge. The structure was built at 21 feet high and 14 feet at the base. Risers were built every two feet and safety bars were placed in front of the singers to prevent accidents. All of the singers could take their places on the tree in less than five minutes. Crews noted, “We don’t have much of a problem deciding who will be at the top of the tree. Many of the singers don’t want to go up that high. I find it a little dizzying myself.”

The “Singing Christmas Tree,” as it was called, was used for its first performance by the Bay High School Chorus on December 16, 1959. 86 Bay High Choir members are listed in the program. They were dressed in green robes with aluminum collars, holding red, white or green electric candles. A two-foot white star graced the top of the tree. The choir sang a number of traditional Christmas songs, the first listed being Adeste Fideles.

Page 1 of the 1959 Bay High Christmas Concert program, 2021.BVS.10d

The 1959 program closes with notes in appreciation, including: “The structural tree that enhances our program tonight was fabricated and erected by Danco Metal Products Company of Westlake. Messers Earl Danielson and Mauri Halstrom with a Denver news clipping to guide them have all but invented the structure which weighs over one ton and can be disassembled and used year after year. This is one of the most considerable gifts ever presented to our school. Very few audiences in the world are hearing choral voices placed as these singers are tonight as high as twenty-two feet in the air.”

The next performance of the Bay High School Choir on the “Singing Christmas Tree” will be happening 63 years after the first, on December 18 and 19, 2022. Visit the Bay High School website for more information and how to buy tickets: 2022 Holiday Choral Concert Tickets

The holidays are here at Rose Hill – December 4, 11, and 18, 2022!

You may hear the Bay High Choraleers sing Christmas carols at the Rose Hill Museum on December 11 from 2:30-3:30pm in the Victorian parlor room. The performance is part of holiday celebrations happening December 4, 11, and 18th at the museum. Also making an appearance on the 11th is Santa Claus, who will be available that afternoon for photographs in our newly reconditioned 1800s sleigh. The cost for the photo is $20 and reservations are available on our website. Throughout Sundays in December, you will be greeted by volunteers in period costumes, taking you through our festively decorated home. Our newly restored upstairs portrait gallery, early 1800s rug with pastoral scene and Aldrich family hair wreath are on display. There will be spinning wheel, loom and rug hooking demonstrations and Preston Postle will be reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Visit the Bay Historical Society’s website for all of the details, how to reserve a time with Santa and the route he’ll be taking through Bay Village on December 4th: https://www.bayhistorical.com/cahoon-christmas-2022/

Forest Views and Giving Thanks

Forest Views and Giving Thanks

by Michele Yamamoto

Forestview Elementary was a K-6 school in Bay Village. It was built in 1927 at 493 Forestview Rd. In 1981 the school was closed down due to declining enrollment and the students that attended were moved to other elementary schools. The building then housed a Montessori school for a time before it was demolished in the early 2000s. In 2010 the land became the site of a community garden.

Forestview Elementary 3rd Grade Class in 1937, Bay Village Historical Society Collection

In the school collections of the Bay Village Historical Society, we have a very small collection of three editions (1937, 1938 and 1940) of the Forestview school’s publication, Forest Views. The publication was produced entirely by students and teachers of the elementary school. It won two awards, according to the Bay Alumni Foundation, including a recognition from a national mimeograph company. The copies in our collection range from 10-12 pages in length, separated into various sections which do not change much through those years. “Bay Peeps” contains reports from each grade on projects they are doing or subjects they are studying. A section titled “Tale Chasers” lists all of the social happenings of the students at Forestview. Other sections include a calendar of upcoming events, sports reports and puzzles. The topics in the publication could range from what student went on vacation and where to serious contemplations on the news of the world.

Cover of January 1937 Edition of Forest Views, 2021.BVS.05A

April 1938 Page of Forest Views

In the November 20, 1940 issue, the students recognize the war going on in Europe that, thankfully, had not yet touched Americans. One sixth grader, Wallace Bower, wrote “As the day approaches when all people give thanks, news comes of discouraging incidents in the nations beyond the sea. In this free country, true Americans should give humble thanks to God for the peace that is still theirs to share and for the privilege of preserving the American way of living.”

Unfortunately, the peace would not last and by December 7 of the following year, America would be compelled to end its isolation after a surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. Three days later, after Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, our country became fully engaged in the Second World War.

Forest Views, November 1940, 2021.BVS.05A. The students give thanks that America isn’t part of the war in Europe.

The Bay Village Alumni Foundation has a larger collection of Forest Views. Issues from the 1940s include stories of children raising money for war bonds and cover air raid patrols.

We Need You!

Your donations and memberships help keep these artifacts preserved and accessible to all and can be made by visiting our webpage https://www.bayhistorical.com/support-us/. We appreciate any support you may give.

If you have any questions or information for us or are interested in volunteering with Bay Village Historical Society, please call us at (440) 871-7338 or email us: info@bayhistorical.com.

Come visit us!

We have fashion on display at the Rose Hill Museum, with an emphasis on the 1920s. The museum is open on Sundays in April-December from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.

Early Football in Bay Village: 1924-1972

Early Football in Bay Village: 1924-1972

by Michele Yamamoto

As Bay High School celebrates another homecoming and the 50th anniversary of the Bay Memorial Stadium, we at the Bay Village Historical Society decided to look through our small collection of Bay football’s past.

The first piece of history found in our school collections is from the May 1925 edition of the Parkview publication, The Larynx. The athletics page talks about Parkview’s first year with a football team, albeit a very young one. The coach was G.S. Thompson and the oldest player on the team was probably no more than 15 or 16 years old, judging from the 1924 team photo and the fact that the school would have only housed up to grade ten at that time. It states that parents were concerned for their kids as there weren’t enough junior teams to play against. Parkview had to play two of the five games of the season against senior high teams. No serious injuries were reported and the players were eager to use their new experience in the game the next year.

1924 football team under coach Thompson in the May 1925 Larynx

Over the next 22 years, according to Bay Bluebook yearbooks and our photographs, Parkview High School saw several varsity football coaches. Otto E. Mahler succeeded Thompson in 1925 and continued to coach football at Parkview through the 1928/29 school year.

1925 Parkview football team under coach Otto Mahler, Bay Village Historical Society 2018.P.03.03.75

Homer P. Secrist succeeded Mahler and coached through the 1941 season. He was the principal of Bay High School for eight years (1940-1948) and worked for many years after in various faculty positions including Athletics Director and as a math and physics teacher until his death in October of 1960. The Homer Secrist Memorial Award, named in his honor, was created to be given each year to a deserving athlete.

1935 Parkview football team under coach Homer Secrist, Bay Village Historical Society Collection

The 1942 season was coached by Dick Humphrey and Harry Craig, who only stayed on for that one season. Tom Welbaum also took over for only one season in 1943. Michael DePaola coached from 1944-1946.

Jack Llewellyn (probably 1962), Bay Village Historical Society

In 1946 Parkview hired Jack Llewellyn to coach its varsity football team. Llewellyn would stay on for 25 seasons and would become one of the most well-known high school football coaches in Ohio. He is credited with encouraging the school to name an official mascot. Parkview High also changed its name officially to Bay High School during his first year. By the 1947 season, the new Bay High School Rockets took the field under their new name. Under Llewellyn and his assistant coaches, including such names as Robert Kitzerow, Cy Lipaj, Wayne Gray and Richard Voiers, Bay High School had a very successful football record. The most celebrated of Llewellyn’s career was the undefeated 1954 season. He ended his tenure at Bay High School after the 1970 season with 150 victories under his belt.

1952 football program from the scrapbook of halfback Dave Hinckley, Bay Village Historical Society 2021.BVS.10G

1954 undefeated season schedule, Bay Village Historical Society 2021.BVS.10G

1971 saw some major changes to the Bay High football team. E. Donald Chadwick, who had served as offensive line coach under Llewellyn, took over as head coach. A brand-new stadium at the high school’s new location on 29230 Wolf Road (as of 1968) was in the works. On September 29, 1972, the new Bay Memorial Stadium was officially dedicated during a rainy football game against Rocky River.

1973 Bay Bluebook pg. 56 about the homecoming game and dedication of the new stadium in 1972.

If you are enjoying these glimpses of Bay Village’s past, we ask you to please consider donating to the Bay Village Historical Society or becoming one of its members by visiting http://www.bayhistorical.com/support-us/#Donate. We can’t do it without you!

You may still relive some school days of Bay’s early history by visiting the Rose Hill Museum (open every Sunday, April through December from 2-4:30pm) to see in person a small temporary display of items from Bay Village’s early school days. Next door at the Osborn Learning Center we have copies of most Bay High School yearbooks. You may also browse the yearbooks online at: https://www.bayhistorical.com/bay-village-history/#Yearbooks

More information about Bay Village public school history (especially the later years) can be found through the Bay Village Alumni Foundation and you may find their contact information on their website at: https://bayalumni.com/

100th Anniversary of Parkview School

100th Anniversary of Parkview School

by Michele Yamamoto

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the building of the Parkview School in Bay Village. It was located on the spot where the Bay Middle School parking lot is now.

The Bay Village Historical Society records indicate that by 1921 there was one remaining schoolhouse in Bay Village, the “Little Red Brick Schoolhouse,” built in 1869 and located between Bassett and present-day Huntington Park at 29503 Lake Road. There wasn’t enough space at the schoolhouse, even for its grades 1-8, and from the earliest days of Bay Village history, families who wanted their children to have a secondary education were forced to send them to either Rocky River, Lakewood or what is now known as Westlake.

Bay Village historian, Kay Laughlin, wrote of the beginnings of Parkview School. She noted that in 1921, the Bay Village school system had to rent a room in Bay Village City Hall in order to accommodate the fifth grade class. In a special election in April of that year, the Board of Education managed to pass a five-mill levy to support the $225,000 in bonds needed to construct a new school. Still, expenses to build were cut in every way possible, including the risk of using non-union labor, which stopped construction completely for a time.

1924/25 Parkview students grades 1-10, Bay Village Historical Society

A two story Parkview before the third floor addition, from the May 1925 school publication, The Larynx

Parkview faculty photo from the May 1925 school publication, The Larynx. 

By the fall of 1922, Bay Village had all of their students in grades 1-8 at the Parkview School. Mentions to upper grades are not made in The Larynx (May 1925), the earliest Parkview publication the Bay Village Historical Society has in its collections. Grades 9-12 were most likely added on, one grade a year, until by 1927 Parkview High School had its first graduating senior high class.

The first graduating class at Parkview consisted of ten girls and five boys. The lack of male students proved to be a challenge for dancing partners and so the class decided to forego a traditional prom and created a “Junior-Senior Banquet” instead. The second annual banquet lists a food menu and musical performances by the students and faculty.

Parkview’s 1st Graduating Class 1927, Bay Village Historical Society. Top row, L-R: William J. Hursh, Ruth Claire Myers, Sarah E. Dodd, Caryl June French, Arthur W.J. Stampfli. Second row, L-R: Vera Anna Wuebker, George Edward Mehleck, Clarence Frank Meilander, Lawrence Kenneth Hille, Marie E. Blaha. Bottom row, L-R: Blanche Gertrude Cowley, Luella Anna Meilander, Ruth Naomi Proudley, Helen Louise Bell, Helen J. Toeller

1927 Parkview Graduation Program, Bay Village Historical Society

Vera Wuebker was a member of Bay Village’s first senior graduating class. She commented in the March 29, 1968 edition of the Bay Window that the limited number of students in Bay Village’s first senior graduating class was enjoyable. She is quoted as saying, “One became better acquainted with all of the students in the school.” Vera was also the daughter of West Dover’s first rural postman, Ernest Wuebker, and we have many items that once belonged to Vera in the Bay Village Historical Society’s collection that were generously donated by her grandson Kip Fanta. Vera married Herb (Irwin) Fanta in 1936 and worked in the guidance counselor’s office at Bay High School in later decades.

It appears that from the beginning of its use the school wasn’t big enough for all of the children in Bay Village. A third story was added in 1925, only three years after the building was first constructed. Temporary portable buildings were constructed before that addition but remained and were used until a wing on the west side of the building was opened in 1952. Forestview Elementary was constructed in 1927 at the southeast corner of Wolf and Forestview Road and housed the elementary students living on the east side of Bay Village, which may have alleviated some of the crowding.

The 1927 edition of the school publication Arc-Light lists the Parkview building as containing 13 standard classrooms, an auditorium that seated more than 430, a physics laboratory, chemistry laboratory, large library and gymnasium. Four portable buildings housed domestic science, manual training (shop class), a cafeteria and a dining hall in a corridor connecting the portables with the main building. There were 10 acres developed as a playground and athletic field.

1942 Bay Bluebook photo featuring Irma Schmedt and Bill Smith on the front steps of Parkview, Bay Village Historical Society

By the 1940s, many new changes were made to the Parkview classes. In 1941, Parkview added a kindergarten class to its 1-12 grade building. In 1947, Parkview began housing grades 7-12 only. Glenview Elementary, which opened in 1947, and the existing Forestview Elementary would now house all of Bay Village’s K-6 grades. 1947 was also the year the high school class officially renamed themselves Bay High School, although they used this name as early as 1941 in the Bay Blue Book. “Rockets” became the name of the school’s athletic teams through a vote by the student body.

By 1960, Parkview held only high school students when the Bay Junior High School moved to a brand-new building located where the present-day Bay High School now stands at 29230 Wolf Rd. In 1968 the high schoolers took over the location and the junior high classes moved back to the old Parkview building to stay for more than 30 years.

1968 Bay Bluebook photo of Parkview

1968 Bay Bluebook tribute to the old Parkview building

In November 2000, residents of Bay Village approved a bond issue for the construction of a new middle school. The current Bay Middle School location at Cahoon and Wolf Road was built directly behind Parkview and was ready for middle school students in grades 5-8 to attend for the 2003/2004 school year.

Bay Middle School old and new, December 2003, Bay Village Historical Society

Before the old Parkview building was torn down there were several send-offs and chances for former students to relive their time at the school. On Saturday, December 13, 2003 Bay residents had the opportunity to attend some farewell events.  A “Wrecking Ball” dance was held in the gym. Although much of the equipment and furniture was moved throughout the district’s schools and the remainders were sent to a school in Haiti, there was also a sale where residents and school staff members could purchase a piece of the old school. A former student from the 1960s bought a handrail. One man bought a water fountain and urinal. A current eighth grader even expressed interest in buying his old locker. Marble partitions found in the 1920s restrooms could be had for $50.

George Serb, an 88-year-old former student (class of 1933) and Bay Village Citizen of the Year remembered entering Parkview as a second grader when the building first opened. He was given the honor of symbolically locking the building for the last time.

On December 22, Parkview alumni, current students, staff members and neighbors gathered across the street from the old school to spend a day-long vigil watching Parkview be demolished.

Parkview during demolition, December 2003, Bay Village Historical Society. Note the red, orange and yellow stripes above the lockers on the second floor. 

You may still relive some of Parkview’s past by visiting the Rose Hill Museum to see in person a small display of items from Bay Village’s early school days. At the Osborn Learning Center next door, we have copies of most Bay High School yearbooks. You may also browse the yearbooks online at: https://www.bayhistorical.com/bay-village-history/#Yearbooks

A presentation about the history of Bay Village Schools, including Parkview, can be viewed on the Bay Village Historical Society website at:
Bay Highs First Fifty Years

More information about Bay Village public school history can be found through the Bay Village Alumni Association and you may find their contact information on their website at: Alumni Association

If you are enjoying these glimpses of Bay Village’s past, we ask you to please consider donating to the Bay Village Historical Society or becoming one of its members by visiting Donate. We appreciate your support!