Because You Asked . . . .    

105 Baughman Street Built as Big Walnut High School in 1951


First Big Walnut High School now Jr. High

Big Walnut Local School District was formed by a legislative action of the Delaware County Board of Education in January 1950. The previous rivals of Galena and Sunbury School districts were abolished and the new district was formed.  It was named for the Big Walnut Creek which flows through both towns.

Prior to consolidation, the Sunbury District had purchased 56 acres of land south of Sunbury and north of Galena in preparation for building a new high school.  Galena had likewise passed a levy to build but had not purchased the land.  The merged district needed the new school so it was decided to build on the land formerly owned by Sunbury School.  Since then, the land has been annexed into the village for water and sewer.

October 27th,1950, A.D. St. Clair of the State Department of Education broke ground for the high school at 105 Baughman Street on 56 acres of land purchased prior to consolidation, Big Walnut High School opened in 1951. It housed 8th through high school students for a year.

The first one story building in the Big Walnut Local School District was very modern with the best gym in the county. The school had science labs, shop labs, as well as vocational agriculture and home economic rooms.

In 1952, Harlem was added to the Big Walnut Local School District.  The consolidated district covers 107 square miles or almost everything east of Alum Creek in Delaware County.

E. LaMar Hoke, science, industrial arts and band leader, wrote the Alma Mater for Big Walnut High School.  Red and gold were selected as the school colors. Golden Eagle became the school mascot. Flame became the title of the school annual.

In addition to a full curriculum, the school offered football, basketball , baseball and track for boys and  basketball, volleyball and softball for girls. With much support from Big Walnut Athletic Boosters and Sunbury Lions Club, a football field and track, and a baseball diamond were constructed at the school.  

Band, concert, marching, dance bands, pep bands and choir, a cappella, chorus, and show choirs provided music for school and community events.  Class plays were very popular with students and the community.

Clubs were an extension of school activities.  In addition to National Honor Society, there have been Debate Club, Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, German Club, Latin Club, Spanish Club, Pep Club, Varsity Club, and Y-Teens.  

In 1963 the size of the building was doubled adding a new library, offices, classrooms, wood and metal shops and art classroom. Module building were added behind the high school to house kindergarten in early 1970's.

By 1974, the new school was too crowded and the 8th graders were moved to the old Harlem Elementary School for 2 years.  a new boiler and stage lights were added to the building.

Future Farmers of America built an Ecology Center on the property which became a favorite spot in the community to enjoy nature.  Under the leadership of  Tuttle and Dick Phillips, bluebird boxes were mounted and attended throughout the district.

With the completion of the new high school in 1991, this building underwent major renovation to remove asbestos in the gym and stage areas, to add a new roof, and concrete walkways.  A new library was added in the addition so the old one was added to the cafeteria.  The former industrial arts and vocational agriculture area became classrooms.  Thus this building became the Big Walnut Middle School which it remains today.

Marvin Miller, Hylen Souders, Richard Miller, Carl Martin and Melissa Conrath have served the district as Superintendents.

Photos from Baughman Street School  
BWHS-1952-600.JPG (136979 bytes) bwfoottball55-56-600.jpg (121585 bytes)
New High School - 1951 Alums 1952 Alums 1953  F.F.A.
Feb. 25, 1954
bwbasketball56-600.jpg (96651 bytes) bwbasketball57-600.jpg (97791 bytes) BWHSloveiseternal3-29-56-600.JPG (83825 bytes)
  'Love is Eternal' Cast - 1956 Band to Cleveland 1956 Commencement Seating - 1956
Class of 1961
8th Grade
BWHSchess11-23-78-600.JPG (104853 bytes) Boosters8-79-600.JPG (94222 bytes) BWFFA11-15-79-600.JPG (99992 bytes)
Band 1972
See More Band Pictures
Pauline and Dr. Max Livingston, Faculty manager Ben Trotter
Athletic Boosters
BWlap-a-thon9-10-81-600.JPG (68291 bytes) BWMS-1991-600.JPG (29119 bytes)  
Retirees 1987 Big Walnut Middle School

. . . .And Now You Know
by Polly Horn


Return to Local History Index

(08/13/2011 )

Click on Photos to Enlarge
Use BACK to Return to this Page