JUST LIKE OLD TIMES - Local preacher responsible for new school

Some senior citizens reading this will remember the Rev. Charles Gardner who was pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Norwalk from 1917 to 1935. One of his greatest accomplishments in that time was the building of a new one-story wooden school building facing West League, where the rectory is now located, in 1919. He also struggled to keep the parish treasury in the black, especially in the darkest years of the Great Depression. The reason he built a new school is that there had been a brick school on West League with two classrooms on the first floor and a parish hall on the second. In the fall of 1913 it was determined that this school with wooden stairs, floors and interior walls was a fire hazard. The school was closed and razed. This caused all St. Mary children to either go to St. Paul elementary school or to the public schools. League Street School was being built at the time with four rooms, and the influx of new students caused the board of education to add two more rooms at the back and have just one grade in each room.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

 

Some senior citizens reading this will remember the Rev. Charles Gardner who was pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Norwalk from 1917 to 1935. One of his greatest accomplishments in that time was the building of a new one-story wooden school building facing West League, where the rectory is now located, in 1919. He also struggled to keep the parish treasury in the black, especially in the darkest years of the Great Depression.

The reason he built a new school is that there had been a brick school on West League with two classrooms on the first floor and a parish hall on the second. In the fall of 1913 it was determined that this school with wooden stairs, floors and interior walls was a fire hazard. The school was closed and razed. This caused all St. Mary children to either go to St. Paul elementary school or to the public schools. League Street School was being built at the time with four rooms, and the influx of new students caused the board of education to add two more rooms at the back and have just one grade in each room.

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