Apollo Schools

From the History of Apollo 1816-1916  written by Dr. T.J.Henry, we get the following account of the first schools in Apollo.

The first schoolhouse for our community was built at the southern end of the old graveyard.  It was of hewn logs and one story high.  The fireplace was in the side and large enough to accommodate backlogs 5 or 6 feet long.  The windows slid sideways.  The seats were of slab and had no backs.  For writing desks slabs were arranged along three sides of the room in such a manner that the pupils stood between them and the wall and faced the teacher.  Mr. Samuel Owens was the first master of this school.

Mr. William McKinstry helped to hew the logs for the second school building which stood at the forks of the little run back of the Presbyterian Church some distance up on the Owens farm.  This school was taught for some time by Mr. Jack Brown.

The third schoolhouse and the first to be erected in the Borough of Apollo, was built in 1850 on the corner of Church and Thirtyfoot Streets, now Pennsylvania Avenue and South Third Street.  It was a one-story frame building.  It had pine desks and seats, and was furnished with a cupola and bell.

The next school house (pictured above with the addition) was built in 1863 on North Second Street.  It originally had two stories and two rooms.  As the population increased the building was moved back, and a four roomed frame building was added, making six rooms for the accommodation of the pupils.

This building had patent desks.  The pupils still increasing in number, it became necessary to rent outside rooms.

After the town was divided into wards, the school directors bought lots on Terrace Avenue with the intention of building a Second Ward School House.  But instead a brick building was erected at the rear of the frame structure in 1900 and completed in 1901.  In 1913 the frame building was torn down and a new building erected on that site containing nine rooms, a directors’ room, principal’s room, gymnasium, and auditorium.
Thus ends Dr. Henry’s account of Apollo’s schools.

1901 school

In 1901, the Apollo Grade School was built on School Street behind the 1863 structure.  It is now used as residential housing, with the top floor removed.

Apollo High School on N. 2nd Street, circa 1920

Across the street from the above structure, a new building was constructed in 1931 to serve as the Apollo Area High School. This building remained in use as the area high school until the new Apollo-Ridge High School was built in 1973-74 as a result of a merger of Apollo School District with Elders Ridge School District in 1969.  It was then used as a middle school, but was closed in 1988 when the students transferred to the new Middle School addition in Spring Church.  The building is now privately owned.

school 3
Apollo Area High School, built circa 1931. The building later served as a middle school from 1974 to 1988.

Elders Ridge

The Elders Ridge High School Built 1933 Rededicated as the Allshouse Memorial Building in 1954.

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