Did you spend your childhood growing up in Arlington? Do you recall attending either Cherrydale, James Madison, Jamestown, John Marshall, Nottingham, Robert E. Lee, Taylor, or Tuckahoe Elementary Schools? We know that many of you YHS ’68 grads did –because you are featured in these wonderful first to sixth grade class pictures! You were oh so cute! Check it out!
Do you remember your favorite elementary school teacher’s name? Enjoy reading about your elementary school below and viewing these groovy photos of you, your neighbors and classmates back in the 1950s and early 1960s.
By the way, we want everyone to have a hand in this, so if you find your your old elementary school class photos in the attic or stored in the garage, please send them to YHS68.firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add them to our website collection. Relish those moments remembering the good old days when hopscotch and dodge-ball were a form of after-school fun, books were in, seatbelts weren’t required, and there was no such thing as social media!
Did you know that:
According to the 2005 Cherrydale Neighborhood Conservation Plan, Cherrydale Elementary School was constructed in 1907. A newer elementary school was built next to the old building and opened its doors in 1917; the lunchroom opened in 1926. By 1927, Cherrydale Elementary School had 12 rooms, 10 teachers and 362 pupils. The school, particularly its auditorium, played an important role in the community by serving as a meeting place and locale for community dinners and dances. Thank you Charlie McDonald for letting us know that you attended this elementary school!
Cherrydale Elementary School closed in 1969 and was demolished in 1973 to make way for the Camelot Hall Nursing Home, and now the Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center.
In 1939 the Saegmuller Public School was razed to make way for a bigger and more modern elementary school. Since Hitler was threatening the world at that time, and German names in this country were anything but fashionable, the new structure was named James Madison Elementary School. The new James Madison Elementary school that some of us attended was completed in 1959 and the school opened in 1960 (see old photo sent by Chris Woods Kitto). For most of us, that was fourth grade. James Madison Elementary School was closed in 1975 and was converted into the Madison Community Center as it remains today.
Fort Ethan Allen – next to our playground at James Madison Elementary School
Fort Ethan Allen was one of the many earthwork fortifications constructed for the defense of Washington during the American Civil War (aka the War Between the States). It was built in 1861 on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, northwest of the capital – adjacent to the Madison Community Center on what is now Old Glebe Road. The fort was named after Ethan Allen who was one of the founders of Vermont, one of the leaders of the Green Mountain Boys, and who, along with Benedict Arnold, captured Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York in the early days of the American Revolution.
Fort Ethan Allen was built by numerous Union units from Vermont, Indiana and New York. Its’ construction was overseen by Brigadier General William Farrar Smith. The perimeter of the fort (see rendition above) ran over 700 yards and had emplacements for 35 to 40 guns. The fort was designed to hold a garrison of up to 1,000 men and was one of the strongest fortifications along the defensive perimeter around Washington.
Fort Ethan Allen commanded all the approaches to Chain Bridge south of Pimmit Run. The Fort had a perimeter of 736 yards. The bastioned earthwork remains of the South Face embankment of Fort Ethan Allen are visible today (see recent photo), along with an interior bombproof shelter for protection against artillery fire from Hall’s Hill; the magazine and guardhouse near the north face; and a part of the east face.
Military Road, which extends from Chain Bridge near Fort Allen, was cut through broken and densely wooded country by Army engineers in 1861. It’s purpose was to connect the isolated defensive works at Chain Bridge (Forts Marcy and Ethan Allen) with the Arlington Line.
Fort Ethan Allen never saw action during the Civil War, though it was visited by President Lincoln and other high ranking officials.
While not seeing action during the hostilities, it was full of action during recess. You may recall that one of the favorite activities of future YHS grads was combing the fort for relics. Generally every small fragment of metal was identified as a bullet. Larger fragments were said to be part of a bayonette, or less interestingly, part of a canteen.
Like so many other fortifications, the post was abandoned at the end of the Civil War. Today Fort Ethan Allen serves as the Fort Ethan Allen Park. In 2004, the fort was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Numerous earthworks and ruins can be found within the park, such as those in the photograph above. The park is open daily to the public.
JAMESTOWN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
3700 N. Delaware Street, Arlington Va.
Jamestown Elementary School was build in 1953, and only air-conditioned in 1989. A new gymnasium was built in 1992.
The Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, carrying 105 passengers, departed from England in December 1606 and reached the Virginia coast in late April 1607. The expedition was led by Captain Christopher Newport. After 2 weeks of exploration, the ships arrived at a site on the James River selected for its deep-water anchorage and good defensive position. Jamestown Elementary School was named after this first permanent settlement in America, honoring King James I of England. The founding of Jamestown, named after Britain’s King James, occurred 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in Massachusetts.
JOHN MARSHALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
2501 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, Va.
Maps of Arlington dating from 1952 show John Marshall Elementary School located between 25th and 26th Streets on Glebe Road next to an Old Dominion School which today is the main building of Marymount University. In 1954 Taylor Elementary School was opened on Stuart Street in Arlington, and this may have affected the enrollment at Marshall Elementary School. Many of us YHS grads went to John Marshall for third grade. It was a temporary arrangement until James Madison Elementary School was completed. John Marshall Elementary School was subsequently closed sometime after 1962.
The Marshall Elementary School building is now called the John Marshall Building and houses medical offices. The building resembles the old elementary school with the exception of new doors and windows. From the main entrance (see photo of stairwell), the library and multipurpose room where students ate lunch were located on the lower level. The two upper floors were classrooms.
NOTTINGHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
5900 Little Falls Rd, Arlington, VA
The Arlington newspaper named the Daily Sun printed an article on October 20, 1951 concerning the plans to build Nottingham Elementary School, the largest in Arlington County at that time. It would cost $673,000 and would take 270 days to complete. The winning contractor was the Eastern Construction Company of Falls Church. The elementary school would have 20 classrooms, a clinic, library, kitchen, auxiliary rooms and a large multipurpose room. It would also have the stylish “bilateral lighting” in which windows would feature on one side of each classroom and a strip of glass block near the ceiling would be built on the opposite side of the room.
THE ROBERT E LEE SCHOOL,
5733 LEE HIGHWAY
The Robert E Lee Elementary School has been reborn as the Lee Community Center. Thanks to Wayne Scott and Sharon Goff who informed us that they attended this elementary school back in the day! We hope that other YHS classmates enrolled at Robert E Lee Elementary may be able to share some history or class photos!
TAYLOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
2600 N Stuart St, Arlington, VA
Zachary Taylor Elementary School was built in 1953 on eight acres and opened in 1954. Since that time, the school has undergone some dramatic structural changes. In the early 1970s, a major renovation enlarged the school facility. It currently has enrollment of over 560 students and a teaching staff of 40. The elementary school was named after Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), the twelfth President of the United States. Zachary Taylor was born in Orange County, Virginia, and was the son of a Revolutionary War officer. Zachary Taylor became a national hero in the Mexican War and died only sixteen months after becoming president.
TUCKAHOE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
6550 North 26th Street, Arlington Va.
Did you know that “Tuckahoe” is a Native American Indian name for a plant used to make flour for bread? A famous plantation on the James River in Southeastern Virginia also bears the name Tuckahoe. Native American legacies abound in Arlington. It’s fun to be reminded that the word Potomac meant “great trading place.” The streets in the Tuckahoe Elementary School neighborhood now known exotically as 22nd and 24th Streets, at one time bore signs that said Indian Trail and Moccasin Trail, respectively.
Tuckahoe Elementary School was constructed in 1953 with sixteen classrooms, a library, a multipurpose room, and several smaller rooms that were intended for use as a clinic, offices, staff lounges, and a conference room. Miss Gertrude Smith served as Principal at both the newly constructed Tuckahoe School and the nearby Stewart School.
One of Joan (Ungemach) Brumbach's favorite memories of Tuckahoe was of Mrs. Gilbert's class: On Friday afternoons during the last half-hour of school, the class pushed back their desks & Mrs Gilbert fired up the phonograph & played the students' favorite 45 records. Disco in the afternoon? She remembers that the Snell twins taught the class how to "Do the Twist"!!
In 1971 an addition consisting of nine classrooms, a music room, an open media center, and a gymnasium were constructed. At the same time, the Stewart School facility was turned over to the Department of Recreation and the students attending Stewart were moved to Tuckahoe. Consolidation took place again in 1983 when Reed Elementary School was closed due to declining enrollment and its students were reassigned to Tuckahoe.