Oshkosh Firsts & Facts

Oshkosh High School

In the early days, all school grades were taught in one building at the corner of Merritt and Jefferson. The first separate Oshkosh High School was built in 1868-69 on Algoma Boulevard. It was a three-story building of cream brick, designed by L. D. Cochran of Chicago. This building burned down on May 2, 1901. The Common Council adopted a resolution on Sept. 3, 1901, for a $50,000 bond issue to rebuild the school. Final costs were estimated at about $95,000. Architects for the project were Van Ryn and De Gelleke of Milwaukee. The cornerstone was laid June 21, 1902 and a formal opening was held Jan. 21, 1903 with an enrollment of 700 students. This building was set back toward Church Street, and was commonly called the red brick school. A large addition of Bedford stone was built on the Algoma Boulevard side of the Red Brick Building in 1915, with an open house held Nov. 21, 1916. This building was converted to City Hall after the new Oshkosh (West) High School was built in 1961. The 1902 high school was razed at that time.

The Orville Beach Memorial Manual Training School (still standing at 240 Algoma Blvd.), adjacent to the high school, was built in 1913. The school was intended for the teaching of non-academic subjects. In 1925-26, the Oshkosh Vocational School and the Recreation Building facing Division Street were added to the High School campus.

  Oshkosh: One Hundred Years A City, 1853-1953 Oshkosh, Wis.: Oshkosh Centennial, Inc. 1953 p. 65
“Red Brick Once Finest School Building in the West.” Oshkosh Northwestern, 11/10/1961, p. 32..
“Early High School Facilities Makeshift.” Oshkosh Northwestern, 11/10/1961, p. 33..

Architecture and Buildings

Time Period

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