Monthly Archives: February 2010

Confederation High School — Nepean, Ottawa, Ontario

Confederation High School, Ottawa, ON
(click for Google Street View)
Confederation High School, Ottawa, ON

Reunion Apparel for Confederation High School

Confederation High School

1645 Woodroffe Avenue
Nepean / Ottowa, ON

mascot: Cardinals
colors: Red, White & Green
Confederation High School opened in the fall of 1967. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Barrhaven area grew to the point that the majority of Confed’s students were commuting from there. In 1999, John McCrae Secondary School in Barrhaven was opened and Confederation High School was closed. The CHS building is now “Confederation Education Centre” and is used for many activities by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

(Below are just a few bits and pieces I’ve picked up about Confed. If you can offer corrections and additions to these bare bones, please leave a comment below.)

———— Facebook Groups ————

Confederation High School (1,400 members)
Confederation High School (250 members)
Confederation High Reunion (1,000 members)
Nepean Born and Raised (2,300 members) [The first page or two is mostly ads, but the older posts contain dozens and dozens of memories from folks who grew up in Nepean, many of them Confed alumni.]

———— Athletics ————

This is not a complete record of Confederation High School’s athletic accomplishments. These are just some of the records maintained on Ontario athletics websites and some info from old newspaper accounts.

The CHS cheerleaders defeated 30 city and district high schools to win the Campus Club cheerleading contest in 1969.

In 1981, CHS won both Carleton boy’s and girl’s curling crowns.

A football and rugby MVP at Confed, Joe Goodwin, competed on Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes in 2008.

Former CHS teacher Phil Takahashi represented Canada in judo in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.


– 1983 Senior team was undefeated in the regular season (6-0)
– 1988 Junior Champs with an undefeated 9-0 record
– 1989 Team went undefeated until losing in the championship game
– 1993 Undefeated season (9-0), Ottawa-Carleton Senior Football Champions

Former Edmonson Eskimos player Eric Upton graduated from CHS and was placed on the Nepean Sports Wall of Fame in 1986.

In 2001, former Cardinal Jesse Palmer was drafted by the NFL’s New York Giants. He became only the second Canadian to start at quarterback in an NFL game. In 2004, he was the object of affection on ABC’s The Bachelor. He is now an announcer and football analyst.

   [I found two articles about Rolanda. One calls her Coe, the other calls her Cole.]

While in Grade 9 at Moira High School in Belleville, Rolanda Coe won the Athlete of the Year award. After moving to Barrhaven in 1982, she decided to test herself by trying out for the CHS football team. She made the team as a running back and punter, becoming Ottawa-Carleton’s first female football player.

Gymnastics – OFSAA Championships

1980 – Uneven Bars – Elite B (Elizabeth Shank)
1981 – Floor Exercise – Intermediate (Anna Fraser)

Track & Field – OFSAA Championships

1980 – 1500 metre – midget (Marc Oleson)
1980 – 3000 metre – midget (Marc Oleson)
1981 – 3000 metre – junior (Marc Oleson)
1982 – 1500 metre – junior (Marc Oleson)
1982 – 3000 metre – junior (Marc Oleson)
1982 – Cross Country (Marc Oleson)
1983 – 1500 metre – senior (Marc Oleson)
1983 – 3000 metre – senior (Marc Oleson)
– Marc Oleson set the national junior record for the one-mile run (a record that stood for 22 years). He received a full track and field athletic scholarship to Stanford University. In 1985 he was placed on the inaugural Nepean Sports Wall of Fame. In 1991, he won the cross country event at the Canadian Championships. In 1992, he competed on the Canadian Olympics team.

1985 – Girls Track – midget (Overall Team Champions)
1985 – 100 metre – midget (Jane Roos)
1985 – 200 metre – midget (Jane Roos)
1985 – High Jump – midget (Jane Roos)
1986 – 100 metre – junior (Jane Roos)
1986 – 200 metre – junior (Jane Roos)
1986 – 400 metre relay – senior (Jane Roos anchored the team)
– Jane Roos is the founder and Executive Director of Canadian Athletes Now, a program to raise financial support for Canadian athletes. In 2009, she received the Leadership in Sports Award at the Canadian Sport Awards.

———— Tidbits ————

In 1987, Confederation High School had 40% more students than it was designed for, while Merivale High School was operating at half-capacity. The school district boundaries were redrawn for all five Nepean high schools so each would have about 1,000 students by 1991.

Gord Hunter was a teacher at CHS for 31 years, retiring from teaching when the school closed. In 1980, he also began his political career by being elected as a Nepean alderman. In 1985, he was placed on the Nepean Sports Wall of Fame for his accomplishments in orienteering. In 2010, he announced he would not run for another term as councillor representing Knoxdale-Merivale ward, retiring after 31 years in politics.

************* You can help! ************
Please leave a comment below. Share your memories with fellow alumni. Add to or correct the info above. Thanks.

Warrenton High School — Warrenton, North Carolina

Warrenton High School, Warrenton, NC
(click for Google Street View)
Warrenton High School, Warrenton, NC

Reunion Apparel for Warrenton High School
Warrenton High School

N. Main St. at Ridgeway St.
Warrenton, NC
Warren County

nickname: Yellow Jackets
colors: Blue & Gold

Warrenton High School could trace its roots back to 1786, when Warrenton Academy was founded. The school operated continuously from that time, making WHS not only one of the oldest schools in North Carolina, but one of the oldest in the United States. As was common at that time, Warrenton Academy was probably operated in a house, church or one-room schoolhouse. In 1800, the school trustees raised funds to build a larger structure. (I couldn’t find a record of where this new building was located, but it is likely it was near Plummer Street.)

At some point between 1800 and 1818, the name was changed to Warrenton Male Academy, possibly to distinguish it from the Warrenton Female Academy. The girl’s academy was opened in 1808 by Jacob Mordecai, a former teacher at Warrenton Academy. The few records I could find indicate Warrenton Male Academy flourished all through the 1800’s. The Female Academy seems to have been extremely successful through the 1820’s, but a shortage of qualified teachers and increased competition from other academies seem to point to its demise in the 1830’s.

In 1885, the Fitts-Mordecai-Plummer house at 210 Plummer Street housed the first school named Warrenton High School. It was an African-American school devoted to training teachers and ministers. The name was changed to Shiloh Institute within a very few years.

Meanwhile, Professor John Graham had been operating a successful boy’s school in Ridgeway. In 1897 his school was destroyed by a fire. He then took over the Warrenton Male Academy, moving most of his old students to Warrenton. He renamed the academy Warrenton High School, but it was most frequently referred to as John Graham High School. He purchased the Somerville home to serve as a dormitory and dining hall.

Sometime around 1905, Prof. Graham opened Warrenton High School to girls and purchased the Fitts-Mordecai-Plummer house to serve as the girl’s dormitory. (The Shiloh Institute, who owned the house, moved its school to Norlina.) On the 1915-1916 list of schools recognized by the Commission on Accredited Schools of the Southern States, Warrenton High School is listed under “Private Schools”, with Prof. John Graham as the principal. A similar report in 1920 still listed Prof. Graham as the principal.

In the fall of 1969, the John R. Hawkins High School was closed and all Hawkins students were transferred to Graham High School. (See our blog post about John R. Hawkins High School.)

Oddly enough, I could find very few references to Warrenton High School (or John Graham High School) after 1920. The Warrenton High School building at the corner of Main & Ridgeway was designed by noted architect Christopher Sayre in 1922. The last graduating class at Warrenton High School was in 1981. I’m just assuming that in the fall of 1981, all students moved into the new Warren County High School. I didn’t find any information about what happened to the school building after 1981.


I’m sure Warrenton had a long and successful athletics program. Hopefully an alumni will share some memories with us.

The North Carolina High School Athletics Association keeps records for some sports back a hundred years, others just ten or fifteen years. According to their statistics, Warrenton High School made it into the State Finals three times. They lost all three games, but there are many NC high schools who wish they could say they were three-time State Runners-up.

Reunion Apparel for John Graham High School

1961 – Lost to Windsor in the Class A State Finals, 15-14
1962 – Lost to Warsaw James Kenan in the Class A State Finals, 38-23

1962 – Lost to Colfax in the Class A State Finals, 53-47

Alumni (plus one)

A Few Notable Graduates…
– Dr. Frank Porter Graham graduated around 1904. He became a US Senator and president of UNC.
– NC Rep. Philip Franklin Hanes graduated in 1907.
– US Sen. Herbert C. Bonner graduated in 1909.
Robert B. House, the first Chancellor of UNC, graduated around 1910.

Good things must have been in the air in 1912 at Warrenton High School.
– NC State Senator Archibald Cree Gay graduated from Warrenton High School in 1912.
– NC State Representative Robert H. Rouse graduated from Warrenton High School in 1912.
– Franklin Wills Hancock, Jr., graduated from Warrenton High School 1912. He became a NC State Senator, State Representative, US Representative and US Senator.

Simon Terrell graduated around 1942. In 2006, he was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. Here’s part of his induction biography:
Terrell, born in Warrenton in 1924, was a three-sport star at John Graham High school. After a 3-year stint in the Merchant Marine, he was hired as an emergency teacher/coach at Warrenton. He guided the football team to the only undefeated season in school history; coached the girls and boys basketball teams to county championships and won the league title in baseball.
You can read the rest of Simon’s bio here.

Do you remember Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice? In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he was a pretty good football player at UNC and for the Washington Redskins. He’s in the College Football Hall of Fame. There’s a statue of him outside the Charlie Justice wing of the UNC athletic center. Anyway, he received his high school diploma from Warrenton High School even though he never attended a day of classes there. Charlie left Lee Edwards High School early to enlist during World War II. He finished his high school coursework in the Navy. When he was finishing up his All-American stint at UNC, it was discovered he didn’t have a high school diploma. Warrenton recognized free publicity when it saw it, so in 1950, Charlie walked down the aisle of Warrenton High School and received a high school diploma with the other graduates.

There were 43 graduates in the Class of 1940.
There were 199 graduates in the Class of 1976. All their names are listed in this 1976 Commencement Program from John Graham High School.


The Sept. 3, 1951 issue of Life Magazine featured a pictorial on Warrenton’s Hospitality Weekend, a 3-day party for high school and college students on summer break.

Here’s a website about reunions, cruises and doings of the Class of ’76.

There are over 300 Graham High School alumni on

Warrenton, NC has its own Facebook group.


Warrenton High School Class of 1911
Warrenton High School 1931 Women’s Basketball team
Warrenton, NC Courthouse & Confederate Monument
Recent photos of the Warrenton High School building


I believe all the above is accurate, but some of it was assumptions on my part based on logic and darts. For example, the class of ’76 website is decorated with images of a stinging bug and they had gold(ish) and black table settings in their 30th reunion photos. And one guy had on a yellow shirt with black trim. Therefore WHS/JGHS became the Yellow and Black Yellowjackets according to me. (But some alert alumni have since corrected me. The colors were Blue & Gold. Was I right about Yellowjackets?)

If you have any corrections, memories, or additional info about WHS/JGHS, please leave a comment below.


Not being from the area, I knew nothing about Warrenton/John Graham when I researched the original post. Based on comments & emails I’ve received, it’s clear that everyone agrees the name of the school was John Graham High School. However, the original name was Warrenton High School. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association always refers to it as Warrenton High School in its record books. But, they do occasionally call it John Graham in Hall of Fame narratives and other correspondence. So, I have a theory; I’m hoping someone will do some research to confirm this.

My Theory of the Day: At some point, the name of the school was officially changed in honor of its founder, John Graham. Since there was already another Graham High School (in Graham, North Carolina), the NCHSAA continued to call it WHS to prevent confusion. Everywhere else I’ve seen it referred to as Warrenton High School (news articles, etc.), simply means “the high school in Warrenton.”

And all that probably means nothing to anybody but me. It just drives me crazy that I can’t figure out how one school can have two names. Then again, I’m still baffled about how a June bug can be fluorescent green in the South and brown in the North.

Rankin High School — Greensboro, North Carolina

Rankin Elementary School, Greensboro, NC
(click for Google Street View)
Rankin Elementary School, Greensboro, NC

Reunion Apparel for Rankin High School
Rankin High School

1511 Spry Street
Greensboro, NC
Guilford County

nickname: Rockets
colors: Garnet & Gold
Opened in 1924, Rankin School was built on land donated by J. “Al” Rankin. It housed grades 1-12 until the late 1950’s. The last graduating class from Rankin High School was in 1962. The site is now the home of Rankin Elementary School. Only the gym remains from the original Rankin High School.

In the 1950’s, Rankin played 6-player women’s basketball. 1960 Rankin alumni Ann Johnson still holds the NC State Records for most points in a season by a Freshman and by a Sophomore and is second on the list for her Junior year. She is second among the all-time career scoring leaders. She holds two of the top five records for single season scoring. In 1959, in two games against Ledford, she scored 72 points and 76 points. That same year, she scored 82 points against Nathaniel Green. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, she scored 82 again against Sumner.

Country singer Billy “Crash” Craddock got his nickname while playing on the football team at Rankin High School.

Herbert G. Waters (1895-1982) was the principal of Rankin for 36 years.

There are over 100 Rankin alumni on

We would like to know more about Rankin High School.
When and how did it change from grades 1-12 to a high school?
Why was it closed in 1962?
What happened to the existing student body when it closed?
Who are some of its prominent alumni?
What happened to the building?

Please leave a comment below with any additional information you know about Rankin High School. Your fellow alumni will appreciate it.

Hallsboro High School — Hallsboro, North Carolina

Hallsboro Middle School, Hallsboro, NC

Hallsboro and Columbus County
From the 1948 Columbus County directory
Hallsboro is one of the smaller wide-awake towns in the county. Site of a plywood plant, veneer mill and three lumber manufacturing plants, it boasts the largest industrial payroll in Columbus. Not an incorporated town. Near Lake Waccamaw, in prosperous farming area, with fine groves of pecans. Home of the oldest business establishment in the county. Served by the Columbus Telephone Company and the Western Union Telegraph Company. Situated on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and U. S. Highway 74. Population about 500. Modern theatre recently completed.

The same book reports that the white Hallsboro school had 627 students and 22 teachers, while the black Hallsboro school had 119 students and 4 teachers.

Columbus County Schools cafeteria prices

Lunch (K-8) $.75
Lunch (9-12) .90
Breakfast (full price) .50
Breakfast (reduced price) .30
Milk .20


Hallsboro High School

89 School Road
Hallsboro, North Carolina 28442

mascot: Tigers
colors: Blue & Gold

I don’t know when Hallsboro High School opened. The oldest graduating class I could find referenced was in an obituary of a lady who graduated in 1926 (one of six graduates from Hallsboro School).

T. Elbert Clemmons was born in Dec., 1905 and was in the first graduating class at Hallsboro High School. That would have him graduating between 1922 and 1924. (In 1963, Mr. Clemmons funded a library at HHS.)

The last graduating class from Hallsboro High School was in 1992. That Fall, Hallsboro High School merged with Acme-Delco High School to form East Columbus High School. The facilities now house Hallsboro Middle School (grades 6-8). They maintained the Blue & Gold Tigers.

Tidbits from the Wilmington News-Reporter index
– Six classrooms were added at Hallsboro High in 1950.
– In 1972, a fire destroyed the gymnasium. A new gym was completed in Dec, 1975.
– There were 123 graduates in the Class of 1976.

Extracts from the Columbus County Board of Commissioners meeting minutes
– In a 1935 meeting, the commissioners filed a federal loan application for “Hallsboro School, located in Bogue Township, Columbus County, North Carolina, on present site and adjacent to present school building. This building to be of brick and frame construction containing three classrooms, library, two sanitary toilet rooms and septic tank, steam heat, electric lights, furniture and equipment. Total complete cost – $12,000.00”.
– In a 1945 meeting, the commissioners approved selling bonds to build a new gym at Hallsboro, a new gym at Evergreen and “a new high school building or annex at the Old Dock-Nakina School”.

Hallsboro, NC photos on

Downtown Hallsboro, NC
Downtown Hallsboro

Looks like my kind of place.
In Pierce’s window they’re selling hammocks and “Fresh Home Made Sausage”.


There’s a bunch of old Columbus County photos in the Columbus County Schools archives

Reunion Apparel for Hallsboro High School


There have been five Hallsboro High School athletes who have won of the Jiggs Powers Memorial Award as Columbus County’s Most Outstanding Athlete:
1960 – Norwood Long
1961 – Willis Council
1975 – Ronald Hobbs
1981 – Kay Baldwin-Pfeiffer
1993 – Toni Thurman

(Most of the following info came from the NC High School Athletics Association website. Some sports don’t carry stats back to Hallsboro’s beginnings.)

Men’s Basketball
– Hallsboro made two appearances in the Eastern Regional Basketball Tournament.
– In 1975, they were the Class AA State Runner-up (lost to Elm City, 95-68).

– Between 1972 and 1992, Hallsboro made the state tournament 4 times, with their last appearance coming in 1983.
– In 1975 and 1976, the Hallsboro High football team won back-to-back East Waccamaw Conference championships.

Women’s Basketball
– In 1987, Hallsboro made it to the Eastern Regional Basketball Tournament.

Hallsboro basketball player, Toni Thurman, once scored 47 points in a 1989 win over Acme-Delco. A News-Reporter headline on Feb 23, 1989 said “Hallsboro High School’s Toni Thurman Can Break County Record For Most Points”. Does anybody know if she broke the record?
Toni played college ball at East Carolina University. She is still in fourth place in their record books for field goal accuracy, hitting 52.4% of her shots during her 4-year career.

Women’s Softball
– Hallsboro earned a berth to the Class A playoffs in 1987, 1988 and 1992.

Women’s Volleyball
– Between 1975 and 1991, the women made it to the Class A playoffs 5 times.

– 1974 class AA baseball runner-up (lost to Sylva-Webster, 2 games to 1)
– 1975 class AA baseball champs coach Linwood Hedgepeth (defeated Sylva-Webster, 2 games to none)
– 1978 class AA baseball champs coach Linwood Hedgepeth (defeated East Davidson, 2 games to none)
– 1987 class A baseball champs coach Charles Sanderson (record 27-1) (defeated Hayesville, 2 games to none)
– 1988 class A baseball runner-up (lost to Hayesville, 2 games to 1)

Between 1980 & 1992, Hallsboro made it to the State Tournament 6 times. They played 22 tournament games, winning 16 of them. Their last appearance in the tournament was 1992.

Ron Williamson holds the state record for most consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. In 1970, he pitched 91 straight scoreless innings.

Former Tiger baseball player, Brett Harwood, is now the head baseball coach at Whiteville High School (as of 2009-2010).

Linwood Hedgpeth was head baseball coach at Hallsboro High School from 1969 through 1979 (where he won 2 State Championships), and at Whiteville High School from 1980 through 1990 (where he won 3 State Championships). In 1989, Hedgpeth won an American Legion State Championship with a team composed of former Hallsboro players LaGrande Russell and Ricky Young, as well as several starters from Whiteville’s 1989 State Championship team.

During Hallsboro’s 27-1 1987 season, 2 pitchers had perfect records. LeGrande Russell was 13-0 and James Jones was 14-0.

LeGrande Russell, who played for Hallsboro from 1986-1988, was an all-around standout athlete.
As a batter:
– During his high school career, LeGrande collected 121 hits, 2nd most in NC state history at the time.
– In 1987, he was the MVP of the State Championship Series.
– In 1987-88, he set a new NC state record by hitting safely in 35 consecutive games.
– In 1988, he compiled a .514 batting average, 5th highest all-time in the state at the time.
As a pitcher:
– In 1988, he finished the season with an ERA of 0.35, and stands 12th in the all-time NC ERA standings.

Hallsboro Baseball Players Drafted by the Pros
Year, Team, Player
1968, Pittsburgh Pirates, Larry Barefoot
1970, Cincinnati Reds, Ronald Williamson
1992, Milwaukee Brewers, Anthony Pridgen
1993, Jacksonville (Seattle Mariners), LeGrande Russell

Miscellaneous Notes

In the UNC Oral History archives, there’s an entertaining 2002 interview with Frank Gault, 79-year old resident of Lake Waccamaw and graduate of “Bogue University”.

Complete sets of Kin’lin, Hallsboro High School’s local history publication, are available at the Whiteville and Lake Waccamaw libraries.

Heres an excerpt from the journal, The American Midland Naturalist
“On 18 February 1977 we learned that a large number of dormant bats were awakened by electrical workers in Hallsboro Elementary School, Hallsboro, Columbus Co. At our request Linwood Hedgepeth, a biology teacher at Hallsboro High School, sent us several specimans (NCSM 2542-2544), all of which were Tadarida. In a later telephone conversation Mr. Hedgepeth said that by conservative estimates there were 400-500 bats in the attic of the school, presumably all Tadarida.”

There’s an active Hallsboro alumni group on Facebook.

There are over 1,000 Hallsboro alumni on

Other Blog Posts

Mr. Gates and the Marching Tiger band

A visit to the GATHER country store

A weekend at Lake Waccamaw / Hallsboro

A Little Bonus

I thought some alumni might enjoy this 1976 article. Enjoy it before the Star News finds out I stole it and makes me take it down.
(Wilmington, NC) STAR-NEWS June 5, 1976
Hallsboro High Has a Secret
By Jim Wilson
HALLSBORO – After three hours in a sweltering school gym, I am convinced of two things: air conditioning never is a waste of money and the future of America is in good hands

Last January it was my pleasure, as director of the Star News sponsored Golden Star Awards program, to honor Hallsboro High School students who had reached the Finals in the competition which begun with more than 5,000 eligible seniors throughout Coastalina.

Hallsboro, a small school by most standards, had 10 finalists That was more than any other school – large or small – had this year or at any time in the past.

Two of these finalists went on to become winners in their categories.

At the time, I expressed an interest in learning the secret of Hallsboro. So, on Senior Awards Night last week, I was invited to Hallsboro High to meet all of the seniors, the faculty, the staff members, parents and friends. And I went.

The evening was an unusual one. It was not graduation or anything formal – it was a night the students themselves had arranged and were presenting.

There were the usual awards and some very special awards.

In all there were 35 different categories of awards.

The sports trophies received considerable attention and applause.

I did not count after the first four or five, but there must have been at least a dozen standing ovations for students and teachers alike.

There were awards for farm projects and one young man received an award for home economics.

The Kin’Iin staff members took special honors, and well they should for their publication is something special itself.

Citizenship honors were bestowed. So were scholarships. And recognition for encouraging racial and ethnic harmony. Cheerleading trophies were presented and certificates for driving school buses and for perfect attendance.

It was a real gala. The theme was fun and recognition. There were a lot of laughs. A lot of hugs when awards were given and received. A lot of cheers and a lot of things to talk about.

After the ceremony, the youngsters and their guests repaired to the school library for a reception.

The punch was green, unspiked and delicious. So was the food, and the folks stood in line to get in.

All in all, it was like going home again, even though a Tar Heel writer gained a lot of fame saying you could not.

It was the Summer of ‘42 over again for me. I guess I had as good a time as any of the seniors.

When it came time for what was billed as a slide presentation of campus scenes, a lot of people moved to better seats. They should have known better. The slides were beautifully blank – filled in with wonderfully narrative and punchy lines delivered in a grand tongue-in-cheek manner.

Did I learn their secret?

Yes. I mentioned the subject to one teacher and she responded immediately that the secret, if there was one at all, was “That we love them.”

Yes, that is one ingredient. But not all of It. For the students love the teachers in turn, and they love each other as well.

If Hallsboro has a secret – and I think they do – it is that they have managed to encourage, to nourish, to foster a degree of self respect that is not found in many places in the year 1976.

If you respect yourself as an individual, it is the base for a lot of wonderful things. It means that you can see others as individuals, and respect them. Respect opens channels of communication and communication soon leads to understanding, knowledge, affection and love.

There are a lot of problems facing the Hallsboro High School and a lot of things going for it.

On the plus side, they are together for six years, thus building better friendships and school spirit.

Yet when we talk of racial or ethnic problems at schools, we usually refer to blacks and whites, but Hallsboro is tri-level, having blacks, whites and Indians.

What these people have done is a proud thing.

They have encouraged rural youth to be proud of their heritage. It’s not being country – it is being yourself and being proud of it. Reading Kin’lin shows that.

You would have a hard time finding a more rural school setting than Hallsboro, yet you also will find it equally difficult to find a better school climate.

I vote a Well Done Award to each graduating senior, to every faculty member, to all of the parents, and to the community which supports the school.

In fact, I had such a good time, I forgot about the non-airconditioning.

If you have additional information, corrections or memories about Hallsboro High School, please leave a comment below. Your fellow alumni will thank you for it.

West Edgecombe High School — Rocky Mount, North Carolina

West Edgecombe High School cafeteria circa 1950
(image from “North Carolina: Unforgettable Vintage Images of the Tar Heel State
West Edgecombe High School cafeteria circa 1950

West Edgecombe High School
Reunion Apparel for West Edgecombe High School

6301 Nobles Mill Pond Road
Rocky Mount, NC

West Edgecombe High School building today
   (click image for Google Street View)

mascot: Wildcats
colors: Blue & White

West Edgecombe School opened in 1923 as a high school. Prior to 1923, any students who wanted to continue past 8th grade had to enroll in another school in the area. From 1928 through 1978, the school housed all 12 grades. SouthWest Edgecombe High School was supposed to open in the Fall of 1978, but construction wasn’t completed in time. West and South students attended the first semester in their old schools (but operated as SouthWest Edgecombe High School), then moved into the new SouthWest building for the second semester.

Much of the information below was gleaned from two sources:
History of West Edgecombe Middle School on the Edgecombe County Schools website
– The book Edgecombe County: Along the Tar River By Monika S. Fleming

—- Significant Dates in West Edgecombe High School History —
1923 – A one-story West Edgecombe School was constructed to house high school grades
1928 – A two-story building was opened and elementary grades were consolidated into the school (Dixie, Pleasant Hill, Powell, Oakdale, Nobles Mill, Progress, Oak Grove, and Juvenile schools) making West Edgecombe the largest consolidated school in North Carolina.
1949 – A new gymnasium was added
1951 – A new primary building was added
1951 – Class A State Baseball Champions (defeated Madison, 8-5)
1953 – A new agriculture building was added
1962 – A new high school building was constructed
1969 – The gymnasium was remodeled and enlarged
1969 – G. W. Carver High School (Pinetops) was integrated into West Edgecombe High School (the last graduating class from Carver was 1971.)
1970 – Phillips High School (Battleboro) was integrated into West Edgecombe High School (the last graduating class from Phillips was 1972.)
1973 – State Basketball Champions (defeated Orrum, 50-46)
1976 – Advanced to the State Football Playoffs and won the first round before falling in the second round.
1978 – West Edgecombe High School and South Edgecombe High School were merged to create SouthWest Edgecombe High School.

Here’s where you Wildcat alumni can help. I have doubts about some of the info above. I’ve found reputable sources that state SouthWest opened in 1971, 1972, 1978 and 1979. That makes me wonder how accurate some of the other info is. For example, Carver High School was located in Pinetops, only a couple of miles from South Edgecombe High School. Why would they integrate with West? From the scant info I could find, I’m assuming the integration of Carver and Phillips into West in 1969 and 1970 was “freedom of school choice”, where the students could go to West if they wanted to, but it wasn’t required. But now I’m curious about what happened to the Carver and Phillips students when their schools closed in 1971 & 1972? None of the sources I found mentioned where they went. If you can straighten me out on all this, or make any corrections to the dates and info above, please leave a comment below.

West Edgecombe Baseball 1968
West Edgecombe Baseball 1968
There are some old West Edgecombe photos online in the Charles S. Killebrew Collection at Braswell Memorial Library. They are mostly photos of the 1968 baseball and basketball teams, but there are other photos, too. (tip: Just type edgecombe in the search box.) The photo collection seems to only be available for online viewing during library hours.

There’s a West Edgecombe alumni group on Facebook.

There are over 500 West Edgecombe alumni on

Bessemer High School — Greensboro, North Carolina

Reunion Apparel for Bessemer High School
Bessemer High School
E. Bessemer Ave.
Greensboro, NC

mascot: Whippets
colors: Maroon & Gray
Opened: 1911
Closed: 1963
A one-room log schoolhouse was opened in Bessemer, NC on Bessemer Ave. in 1900 with Walter Jones as its first principal. That original Bessemer School only housed the elementary grades. In 1911, a larger school was built on the same site and the number of grades were expanded to include all 12 grades. This was the beginning of Bessemer High School. It is likely that some of the dozens of one-room schoolhouses in Guilford County closed when Bessemer High School opened. Grades 1-3 were housed in one building, grades 4-8 in another, while grades 9-12 had their own building. At some point, grades 1-3 were moved into a new building on Huffine Mill Rd. and named Bessemer Primary School.

During the entire 52 year life of Bessemer High School, it only had three Principals. Professor W. E. Younts, a Guilford College graduate, was the first Principal and he served for 36 years until his retirement in 1947. William H. Cude was selected as the next Principal and he served until his death in 1962. (When Bessemer Primary School was opened, Mr. Cude’s wife was selected as its Principal.) Upon Mr. Cude’s death, Assistant Principal Robert L. Clendenin, a 1950 BHS grad, took over and served until the high school closed in 1963. (Here’s an excellent Interview with Bob Clendenin.) After the Bessemer High School students were merged with Page High School in 1963, Mr. Clendenin stayed on as Principal of Bessemer Junior High School, then later became the Principal at Page.

In 1957, the towns of Bessemer and Hamilton Lakes had successfully petitioned to be annexed into Greensboro. Even though Bessemer was then part of Greensboro, Bessemer schools continued to operate under the Guilford County school system. In 1963, the citizenry voted to move the school system from the Guilford County school system to Greensboro City Schools. This led to the merging of Bessemer High School into Page High School. (Greensboro City Schools then merged with Guilford County Schools in 1993.) Apparently, Bessemer continued as a Junior High until 1967 when it was merged into Aycock Junior High School. (If this is wrong, somebody please leave a comment below to correct me.)

Much of the above history came from Mr. Clendenin’s interview and this Bessemer School History.

At some point soon after the closing of Bessemer School, all of the buildings except the Gym were demolished and Erwin Elementary School (now Erwin Montessori) was built on the site. Here’s a Google Street View of what I believe may be the Bessemer High School gym. (Again, somebody please correct me if I’m wrong.)

The Bessemer High School sports teams were known as the Whippets. Whippets are sleek but muscular hunting dogs prized for their speed, power and agility.

Bessemer football players certainly lived up to the image. They were a powerhouse in 6-man football in the 1940’s, then continued the tradition after switching to an 11-player team in 1945. They were the North Carolina State Champions in 6-man football in 1941. In the 1950’s & 60’s, they made four trips to the State Finals game, but a second football State Championship eluded them. Still, being four time State Runners-Up is an accomplishment of which any school can be proud.
   1941 – 6-man State Champions   1953 – State Runner-up (lost to Massey Hill, 20-0)
   1954 – State Runner-up (lost to Edenton, 41-20)
   1958 – State Runner-up (lost to Williamston, 26-20)
   1962 – State Runner-Up (lost to Brevard, 19-13)

The Bessemer baseball team gave the school a going away present in 1963. The Whippets won the State Championship by defeating Chapel Hill, 5-2.

———————- Update added June 1, 2013 —————-
[The News-Times, Hendersonville, N.C., Saturday, June 1, 1963]
Hendersonville has been awarded the Western North Carolina 3-A high school baseball play-offs.
According to Hugh Lockaby, principal of Hendersonville High School, the Hendersonville Bearcats will meet Bessemer High School of Greensboro at Berkeley Park Wednesday afternoon for the Western North Carolina championship.
The winner of the Hendersonville-Bessemer game will meet the Eastern North Carolina winner in a two-out-of-three series for the State 3-A championship.
Bessemer defeated East Forsyth Thursday night 4 to 1 to earn the right to play Hendersonville which drew a first round bye.
The win Thursday night gave Bessemer a season record of 15 wins and one loss. The Greensboro team, being consolidated after this year, won a string of 32 consecutive games before losing to Madison-Mayodan this year.
During the stretch of the consecutive wins, Bessemer won three district championships and lost another in a play-off.
The pride and joy of the Bessemer team is pitcher Wayne Nunn whose three-year record reads 21-1. The 160-pound junior has a record of 10-1 this year. Standing 5′ 11″ tall, the right-hander is also one of the team’s leading hitters with a .450 plus average. He also leads the team in home runs with a total of five.
Other pitchers listed on the Bessemer squad are left-hander Wally Pegram and right-hander Buck Bain.
In addition to Nunn, other .450 plus hitters are catcher Elwood Baker and third baseman Roland Deaton.
East Forsyth went into Thursday’s night game with a record of 17-1.
Hendersonville fans may recall that Bessemer lost in the Western North Carolina football finals last fall to Brevard 19 to 13.
Bearcat Coach Jim Pardue scouted Bessemer in the Thursday night game played at East Forsyth.
“I have never seen a finer high school defensive baseball club than Bessemer,” Coach Pardue stated.
In discussing the Thursday night game, the Bearcat Coach said he thought Nunn pitched a fine game but he believed his boys can hit him.
“Bessemer is a team that just doesn’t make mistakes,” said the Bearcat coach as he continued to discuss the merits of his opposition.
The Bearcats will be without the service of one first string player. Greg Pittillo will not participate in the play-off game because of a summer job. Freshman Tommy Blankenship has been promoted from the freshman squad and will open in left field. Blankenship played one game with the varsity this season and acquitted himself well.
Harold Robertson, in a slump when the regular season ended, is now hitting the ball well. He is expected to give the Cats a big lift in the game Wednesday.
It took an all-day of dickering to get the game played in Hendersonville. Finally it was necessary for a coin to be flipped in the office of L. J. “Hap” Perry, NCHSAA executive secretary, to determine the site of the game.
A substantial guarantee is being paid to get the game here for local fans to witness. Tickets will be placed on sale at various uptown locations to be announced later,
Bessemer will arrive in Hendersonville Tuesday and work out at Berkeley Park. The team will be quartered on the Brevard College campus during its stay in this area.
The Bearcats finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Blue Ridge Conference with an over-all record of 9-and-5. Most observers agree the Bearcats were equally as good a team as any in the conference.
The Cats earned the right to advance when Brevard, conference winner, elected not to compete, and Enka and Waynesville, tied with the Cats for second, also chose not to play.
——————- [end of article] ——————-

——— Odds and Ends ———–

State Representative Joseph T. Carruthers, Jr. graduated from Bessemer High School in 1925.

Bessemer High School graduated 50 seniors in 1950, 62 in 1953.

Here’s a link to the Bessemer High School Alumni group on Facebook.

There’s a Bessemer Jr. High group on Facebook, but I saw some BHS folks on there, too.

There are over 200 Bessemer High School alumni on

Until it expires, you can read this interesting article about Bessemer: Humble Bessemer lives on in memories of school’s alumni.

If you grew up in Guilford County, you might find this post interesting: Old School: HS names from Guilford County’s past.

If you have memories of Bessemer High School, or you can add anything to this post, please leave a comment below.

Gibsonville High School — Gibsonville, North Carolina

Gibsonville, N. C.

Gibsonville High School was located in Gibsonville, NC. The town of Gibsonville was chartered in 1871 and is almost evenly split between Alamance and Guilford counties.

There are a bunch of Gibsonville photos on (all may not be Gibsonville, N. C.).

Here’s the website for the Town of Gibsonville.

Gibsonville High School

mascot: Yellow Jackets
colors: Gold & Black

— See the info in the Comments section that sheds light on the questions I had when I wrote this.

I wasn’t able to find a history of Gibsonville High School. I don’t know when it opened, but I found an obituary of a man who graduated from there in 1918. For most (all?) of its life, Gibsonville School housed all twelve grades. The only thing I could find about the school colors was somebody that described it as “that awful mustard yellow”. Since the other 9,999 schools with Yellow Jackets or Yellowjackets as their mascot have colors of Yellow & Black, I went with that for the colors.

Below is sort of a hodge-podge of information I found about Gibsonville High School. If you have more/better info, please leave us a comment. Better yet, I’m sure there’s an alumnus out there who could write a history of the school. Write it up and we’ll post it here!

A 1915 report of N.C schools shows Gibsonville with a white school-age population of 431 children, but only 275 were enrolled in school and the daily average attendance was only 216. The school had 6 white teachers and 2 black teachers (7 women, 1 man). The black children were apparently counted with the rural Guilford County schools. They showed a school-age population of 2,926 with 2,152 enrolled in school, but only 1,505 attended school on an average day.

A 1924 city map (large pdf) shows “Gibsonville Central School” on Church Street at Joyner and Gibsonville Colored School about 1000 feet northwest of the intersection of S. Railroad Ave. & Cayuga (off the map).

Around 1938, somebody took a movie camera and filmed people working, playing and attending school in Gibsonville. The 10-minute YouTube video shows the entire student body of Gibsonville School filing past for the camera. If you’re from Gibsonville, you should recognize places in the background.
Reunion Apparel for Gibsonville High School

A 1961 report states that Gibsonville School held 835 students in grades K-12 with 30 teachers.

The annual yearbook was called the YELL-O-JAK.
(May Memorial Library in Burlington has a collection of Gibsonville High School yearbooks.)


The last class graduated from Gibsonville High School in 1974. I couldn’t determine if the building continued to house elementary or middle school grades. Someone reported that the building was demolished in 2005 or 2006, but this is another place I got confused. This Google Street View of Gibsonville Elementary School looks very similar to the school in the 1938 movie. Am I confusing two different buildings?

There’s an active Gibsonville High School group on Facebook.

Everyone I saw on Facebook who had to change schools in 1974 graduated from Eastern Guilford High School. EGHS opened in 1974. Was it a replacement for Gibsonville? Did other schools consolidate with Gibsonville to form EGHS? (I saw a reference that said Guilford County, Greensboro and High Point schools were consolidated in 1992. How was that related to EGHS? Just curious.)

(This has nothing to do with Gibsonville High School, but Gibsonville alumni might find it interesting. Eastern Guilford High School was destroyed by fire in 2006. The students were split up by grades and attended classes in various locations for the remainder of 2006. From the Fall of 2006 through most of 2009, they attended school in a “pod village” which was a bunch of pre-fab buildings temporarily set up on the school grounds. Their new school building was finally ready in May of 2009 and students moved in when they returned from Spring Break. Here’s some photos taken during and after the fire.)

Gibsonville native Kay Yow (Class of ’60) was an all-state player at GHS, once scoring 52 points in a game. After college, she coached for 4 years at Allen Jay and one year at Gibsonville High School, posting a combined 92-27 record. Between 1975 and 2005, she coached over 1,000 games at NC State. She is enshrined in the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame, the Raleigh Hall of Fame, the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the national Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Kay died in January, 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer. Both of Kay’s parents had played basketball at Gibsonville. Both of her sisters were exceptional players for Gibsonville High School and went on to successful athletic careers. Debbie Yow was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Debbie coached at Kentucky and Florida before becoming the Athletic Director at the University of Maryland. Susan was a 2-time collegiate All-American, coached in the WNBA and has been a successful college head coach at several colleges.
Here’s the audio of an interview with Kay Yow.

Fred Wagoner (Class of ’40) was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2008.

*********** Please share your knowledge of Gibsonville High School
*********** with our visitors by leaving a comment below.


Madison Central High School — Madison, Wisconsin

The Central Arch, Madison Central High School, Madison, WI
(click image for Google Street View)
The Central Arch

Madison Central High School

mascot: Tigers
colors: Orange & Black

We have done our own independent research on Madison Central High School, but there is probably nothing covered here (or at least covered better) than what you can find on the Madison Central High School History blog. It is a wonderful, thorough site. I encourage all alumni to explore it.

Reunion Apparel for Madison Central High School
Madison Central High School had its beginnings in a church basement in 1854. Originally named Madison High School, it moved to its permanent site on Wisconsin Ave. in 1858. In 1908 it moved into the building it would call home for the next 61 years. The name was changed to Central High School in 1922. In 1966, Wisconsin High School merged with Central and the school was renamed again, this time becoming Central-University High School. The school was closed at the end of the 1968-69 school year. In 1986, the building was demolished, leaving only the arch on Wisconsin Ave. standing.


Madison Central High School History History, memories, reunions, current events, more
The Madison Mirror Every issue of the student newspaper (large .pdf’s)
I Remember Madison Central A blog to post your memories
Central Alumni on Flickr Hundreds of CHS photos
Obituaries (pre-1990) Alumni obituaries
Obituaries (post-1990) Alumni obituaries
Teacher/staff Obituaries Obituaries of teachers, administrators and staff
Alumni & Reunion News Alumni & reunion news
CHS on Facebook CHS news, memories, friends
World War II Scrapbook Former students write home
Photos and Articles CHS photos & articles from the Wisconsin Historical Society
Dane Co. Historical Society DCHS website
Madison Guy Post about Madison Central High School
Class of 1960 Class of ’60 website
Class of 1965 Class of ’65 website
Class of 1969 Class of ’69 website Wisconsin High School site


1897 – United States High School Football Champions (Detroit, MI)
1940 – City Champions, Big-8 Champions
1941 – City Champions, Big-8 co-Champions
1952 – City Champions
1953 – City Champions

1949 – State Champions (Coach Gus Pollack) Madison Central 8, La Crosse Logan 6
1963 – State Runners-up (Coach Peter Olson) Kenosha 2, Madison Central 0

1912 – State Champions (Lawrence College of Appleton statewide tournament)
1918 – State Champions (Coach G. A. Crispin) Madison Central 37, Watertown 17
1927 – State Runners-up (Coach Howard Johnson) Eau Claire 18, Madison Central 13
1928 – State Runners-up (Coach Howard Johnson) Watertown 27, Madison Central 14

Track & Field
1965 – State Runners-Up

Boys Volleyball
1949 – State Champions (Coach Gus Pollock) Madison Central over Belleville
1950 – State Champions (Coach Gus Pollock) Madison Central over Waukesha

Noted Alumni

Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame
Harold “Gus” Pollock
coached high school football at Slinger (1934-35), Madison Central (1936-64) and Madison LaFollette (1965-75).
Gus coached for 42 years in the Madison school system. Most of these years were spent at Madison Central until the doors were closed. Teams at Central won “Big Eight” championships in 1940 and 1941. His teams won the Madison city championship a number of times. Gus also coached basketball and baseball. In 1949 his volleyball and baseball teams won the state championship. One of his most significant contributions was his efforts along with Willis Jones in the formation of the Four Lakes Football program in Madison. Gus retired in 1977.

Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
Joe Franklin
(Class of 1964) inducted as a player. Set scoring records at UW and in the Big-10.

Madison Sports Hall of Fame
Dave Kelliher
was a basketball official for 32 years, sports coordinator for 28 years and nine-time letterman at Madison Central High School

Wayne “Knobby” Kelliher was a Madison Central alumni, football coach and baseball coach. Madison East’s athletics field is named after him, Kelliher Field. Wayne was the author of the book, Football Madison Style, a history of high school football in Madison, Wisconsin .

Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame
Madison Area Soccer Hall of Fame
In 1990, Graham “Gray” Perrett (Class of 1955) was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame. In 2009, he became part of the inaugural class of the Madison Area Soccer Hall of Fame. From

  • Grey Perrett was an early Madison Soccer Club goalkeeper who’s playing career was cut short by injury. He turned to coaching and formed the Amira Soccer Club who played in the State Major League. He later served as the Commissioner for the Capitol Region of the Wisconsin Soccer Association. Grey passed away in 2008.
  • University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame
    Eddie Withers
    played football & basketball at CHS, was a collegiate All-American in 1950 and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Hall of Fame
    William Earl Schreiber
    played on Central High School’s 1897 National Championship football team and UW’s Big-10 Championship team. He later created the Athletics Dept. at Montana State University.

    Is there a Physics Hall of Fame? There should be.
    John Hasbrouk van Vleck
    (Class of 1916) won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1977. During his long career, he was a professor at schools such as the University of Wisconsin, Harvard and Oxford.

    John Bardeen (Class of 1923), former Dean of the UW Medical School, was a member of a very exclusive club: winners of multiple Nobel Prizes. Dr. Bardeen won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 and again in 1972.

    Stoughton Hall of Fame
    Don Wahlin
    bought out his bankrupt employer and turned the company into Stoughton Trailers, eventually employing 1,700 people. He was the primary influence behind the development of the Stoughton Youth Hockey Association and the Mandt Community Center.

    Please leave a comment below with any corrections or additions to this post

    South Edgecombe High School — Pinetops, North Carolina

    South Edgecombe High School, Pinetops, NC
    (image from Edgecombe County, Volume II, Images of America)
    End of a school day at South Edgecombe High School

    South Edgecombe High School

    Pinetops, NC

    colors: Orange & Royal Blue
    mascot: Flying Dragons

    The South Edgecombe High School building on Pinetops-Crisp Rd. was built in 1926. In that year, the high school grades from ten Edgecombe County graded schools were consolidated into South Edgecombe. A gymnasium was added in 1934 and a major remodeling took place in the 1950’s. South Edgecombe graduated its last class in 1978 before merging with its rival school, West Edgecombe High School to form SouthWest Edgecombe High School, which opened during the 1978-1979 school year. Students attended the first semester at their old schools before moving to the new campus to begin the second semester, but operated as one school, SouthWest. The old South Edgecombe High School building was torn down and replaced by the new South Edgecombe Middle School. Reunion Apparel for South Edgecombe High School


    South Edgecombe High School was the
    1972 Class A State Basketball Champion,
    defeating Broughton High School 54-51.

    ——————— Links ———————

    You know your from Edgecombe County when…. (Facebook Group)

    You might be from Ptops//Macc. or went to SWE/SE if… (Facebook Group)

    Town of Pinetops website

    Pinetops forum (discussions of current events)

    There are over 500 South Edgecombe High School alumni on

    South Edgecombe Basketball 1968
    South Edgecombe Basketball 1968
    There are some old South Edgecombe photos online in the Charles S. Killebrew Collection at Braswell Memorial Library. They are mostly photos of the 1968 baseball and basketball teams, but there are other photos, too. (tip: Just type edgecombe in the search box.) The photo collection seems to only be available for online viewing during library hours.

    ******** If you have additional info to share about South Edgecombe High School, please leave us a comment below.
    (Thanks to Glenn Bass for providing much of this info about South Edgecombe High School.)