Honor The Past. Welcome The Future.
As we look forward to the construction due to the passing of the referendum, it is important to look back and "honor the past" as we "welcome the future." For the next few weeks, we will be sharing the history of our wonderful and historic schools. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date with each #PSDNextWave post!
1840 - Asa Clark's House Parlor
After settling in Pewaukee in 1836, Deacon Asa Clark built a spacious white frame house in the Greek Revival style. It was located at the current site of the Wisconsin Shirdi Sai temple on the corner of Prospect and Main. Since school revenue never returned more than 67 cents per child, Asa and wife Naomi, opened their home to hold a neighborhood school. During the winter of 1840, the first class was taught by Miss Mary Williams and held in the Parlor of Asa's home.
1843 - The "Cold Storage Plant"
According to the memoirs of 1917 Pewaukee Board Member Alexander Caldwell, the first official school building was built on the current site of the Pewaukee Public Library in 1843. The small 20x30 feet, one-story frame structure was “built entirely of oak timber, sawed at Asa Clark’s Saw Mill” (pictured). Students desks and chairs were also built using timber from the “Pewaukee Lake Mill” (also pictured). The building served as not only a school but a town hall, church, and a place for town social activities. Mr. Waterman was the school’s first teacher, earning a whopping $12 a month and receiving room and board by living out one week with each of the student’s families!
The structure was later replaced by a stone school in 1858. Students referred to it as the “cold storage plant” known for having an inch of frost on the window panes from November to March.
1884 - Cream City Brick
The year of 1884 was the banner year for the village of Pewaukee. It saw the construction of Pewaukee’s first two-story grade and high school, built of Cream City Brick. The total cost was a staggering $7,000 but was worth the investment as more students began to continue their education post 8th grade. Principle Alexander North (pictured) led the four room building that now occupied modern improvements such as a hot air furnace (no more “cold storage plant!”) and eventually, electric lighting in 1912.
In 1898, a two-story wing enlarged the school providing an extra two classrooms, assembly room, library, science room, and principal's office for Principal North.
1917 - The Original PHS
After a representative from the Department of Public Instruction condemned the “Cream City Brick” school for overpopulation, a motion was made by the 1917 Board of Education members (pictured) to raise $25,000 to build a new one. Although built in 1917, this same school (remodeled with additions and renovations throughout the years) served Pewaukee students up until it became “Pewaukee Middle School” in 1968. This red brick building is most recognized for being the original Pewaukee High School before the one we know and love today.
1946 - 404 Lake St.
Although the district continued to grow, the Depression and war delayed the building of more schools. In 1946, there was a "critical" shortage of space resulting in the purchase of William Steele's dairy and orchard farmland up the hill. The plot of land was sold for $8,250 and has evolved over time to occupy the four schools that make up our district today (pictured).
The first school to be built at this location was a ten-room elementary school in 1950 (pictured). This building is still a part of PLE today, occupied by the district office as well as 3rd grade classrooms.