Columbian School - George Washington Carver
In 1892, on the 400th anniversary of Columbus voyage of
discovery, Columbian School was named in his honor and built on
pasture land in the midst of dairy farms on the corner of Grove
Street and Springdale Avenue. Construction in 1902 expanded the
building to its present size.
George Washington Carver (formerly Columbian)
School photographed in 2008. It has changed very little since the
Postcard Photo of Columbian, taken prior to 1913 when the
below-mentioned addition was built.
Excerpt from The History of the Oranges to
1921, Volume III, by David Lawrence Pierson:
Meeting the demand for school facilities in the
northeastern part of the town, known as Ampere, the Board
of Education laid out a new district in 1892, which
extended from William street on the south, north by the
Parkway to Park avenue, west to Clinton street, north to
the Bloomfield line and east to the Newark line. The
country was celebrating the 400th anniversary of the
discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and in his
honor the building was named Columbian.
It was built at the corner of Grove street and
Springdale avenue, and was first occupied in the spring
of 1893. There were eight rooms in the building. The plot
measured 100 feet on the latter thoroughfare, 390 feet on
the southerly side and 200 feet on Grove street. Dairy
farms surrounded the school and only three houses were
standing north of Springdale avenue. A pasture land
extended southerly, including land between Fourth avenue
and Nineteenth street, and open fields stretched westerly
to Arlington avenue.
Completed at a cost of $30,000, the building was used
by the kindergarten, first, second and third grades. One
hundred pupils were enrolled on the opening day. But the
population was increasing and in 1897, the first eighth
grade class, consisting of sixteen pupils, was graduated
to the High School. Then it became necessary to transfer
the seventh and eighth grades to the Eastern School till
1902, when the school was again given the grammar
A portable building was used in 1912 for primary
classes till the new addition on the southeast corner was
occupied, and in April, 1913, three class rooms and the
principal's office were completed on the first floor.
Frank S. Coe has been the only principal since the school
was organized. A custom established at the graduation to
present a gift to the school, has added greatly to the
collection of works of art. The value of the plant in
1920 is $210,050.25.
Columbian School was renamed George Washington Carver
Institute at the turn of this current century. The school has
been vacant since 2006 when all the students were moved to
Glenwood Campus after the original Carver building was found to
have a severe mold problem.
On 11/19/15, this notice was posted on the East Orange School
District Facebook Page:
It is a pleasure to announce
that the East Orange School District won approval for the
design and construction of the New GEORGE WASHINGTON
CARVER INSTITUTE on the grounds of the former Columbian
School located on the corner of Springdale Avenue and
The New George Washington Carver facility will be
designed to educate approximately 500 students in
pre-kindergarten through eighth grades. The School
Development Authority (SDA) anticipates completion of the
new school by the Summer of 2020.
It is our belief that this project will provide a safe
learning environment for the children of Carver
Institute. We look forward to working with the SDA to
accelerate the process.
As of 8/08/16:
Notice that the East Orange School District
felt free to use my 2008 photograph without crediting it, instead
of taking a photo of their own!
Mrs. Veitch's First
Grade Class from 1955
Columbian School, East Orange, NJ.
The above 1955 photo was sent to us by Mr.
Gregory R. Le Cerff, currently of Hamilton, NJ. Amazingly (to me)
he has remembered the name of each student shown, with one
Left to Right, First Row: Harvey Berkowitz, John
Mazzuto, Richard Walker, Christine Bercale, Jeanette Russo, Judy
Rubenstein, Patty Awnmuller, Greg Le Cerff, Mrs. Veitch.
Second Row: Marina Karis, Teddy Lindberg, Tommy
Johnson, Vincent Nappliello, Virginia Kowl, Lois Green, Larry
Bunn, Peter ----, Patsy Geonnetta, Joe McCabe, Jack Gardiner.
There were two additional students in the class not pictured;
Michael Petrone and Gregory Kimbrough.
In the background is a picture of the class'
trip to the Newark Museum.
Mrs. Sales' Kindergarten Class
Columbian School, East Orange, NJ.
The above photo, sent in by Barbara Bogue
McAulay 10/25/14, who attended Columbian Elementary School from
1941 to 1944, was taken just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
and the United States' entry into World War II. The desks were
arranged as a letter "V" for Victory and this was
called a "Victory Photo" by the School Projects Photo
Company of Orange, NJ, who apparently made a project of assisting
the war effort by taking and selling these photos. Young Barbara
Bogue, as she was called then, can be seen on the top far left
between the two boys in striped shirts. The girl at the bottom
right was her friend Barbara Mather. If anyone can identify any
of the others, please let me know.
We welcome any additional old photos of the
school or vicinity. E-mail Jim Gerrish at email@example.com