By Brittanie Watts
Dunkirk is home of the 2004 Football State Championship winners. What you may not know is there used to be an old school building built just about a couple blocks from the Marathon gas station from 1854 to Early 1950s.
Moses Louthan taught at the first school in Dunkirk which was built in 1854 where the Trinity Methodist Church (corner of Main and South streets) now stands. In 1866, a district school was organized and in 1867 a brick four-room schoolhouse was built. M. Friedly was the first superintendent. The building wasn’t sturdy enough to hold, so they added three frame buildings. In 1883, they built a new building, three stories high with a full basement. The first and second floors each contained four rooms. On the first floor, the first through the fourth graders were set up. On the third floor was the fifth and sixth grade. The other half of the third floor was a literary hall. This was later divided with the northeast being the music room; the southeast was the typing room, and Latin room. The second floor had a big central hall with the office to the east. The chemistry, biology, library, and study hall rooms were also on this floor. The seventh and eighth grades and high school students were distributed among these rooms for their homerooms. The building was heated by hot air and was built at a cost of $21,670.
In 1935, an addition was built, consisting of a gymnasium and auditorium, home economics to the south, agriculture and farm shop to the north with a modern furnace and hallways leading to the newly remodeled basement turned into a cafeteria in the southwest corner. In the mid-1950s, Dunkirk and Dola schools went together, building the Hardin Northern School one mile west of Dunkirk.
The old school was torn down and a home was built there. The new addition was changed into a Laundromat to the south where the home economics room was, and the gym was turned into storeroom for Oldakers Mfg. Co. This now is unfortunately falling down. A part of Dunkirk’s history will always be remembered.