Bailey Street Schools

No. 11110 Bailey Street Schools from 1902 School Department Report. The city acquire the double house between 1898 and the date of the photo in 1902.

The maps from 1884 through 1918 show the building on the left usually as wood-frame construction, but in 1889 it is shown as masonry. Perhaps the confusion is that the first floor seems to be clad in masonry and the upper floor in wood. In the early years the school was known only as Primary School. From 1884 to 1898 the building at the left (where the VFW post is located today) is the only school building. The 1904 map shows that the city had acquired the double house on the right to serve as a school. By 1910 the house had been demolished. The 1904, 1910, and 1918 maps show the name of the school as the Bailey Street School. The 1933 map shows that the brick building that was later the Thomas Francis Leen School is in place (where the house used to be), but its name was the Helen Burgess School in that year. The original school building still existed in 1933. I don’t know when it was removed and replaced with the concrete block VFW building that stands there today. The Leen School was surplus property in the 1980s, and the City turned the building into a residential facility.

Charlie O’Hara, who was in elementary school there from kindergarten in 1936 until 1942, says: When I moved here in 1935 the schools were called the Bailey Street Schools, although the official names were the Helen F. Burgess on the left (older building) and the Thomas F. Leen on the right, where the mansard house was located.  To my knowledge the Leen was never called the Burgess.  I attended the Burgess (old building) in 1936 and the Leen from 1937-1942.

The Burgess was a fine old building with two classrooms on the first floor and two on the second.  The first floor was of brick construction with a wooden framed second floor.  I believe that the second floor wooden structure was removed and the brick first floor retained when the VFW Post took possession.  Although the present VFW building has been painted white, upon close inspection the original brick first story is intact with a cement block addition on the right side and rear.


Posted on

May 31, 2020