Friday, November 16, 2012

Wittenberg High School

The Shawano county village of Wittenberg was founded in the early 1880's with the Rev. E. L. Homme as one of its' prime movers.  He's even credited with naming the place and like its' German name sake it was a center of learning and hot bed of Lutheranism. The Reverend Homme, in 1881 formed Wittenbergs' first house of worship, Immanual's Church.  Later he built an orphanage and home for the aged.  There was a time when the village had seven schools; Wittenberg Public School, Wittenberg High School, St Paul Lutheran School, The Government Indian School, Bethany Indian Mission, Homme's Orphan School and The Wittenberg Academy 
The subject of this posting will be the Wittenberg High School.  It was February 19, 1897 when a note appeared in the Oshkosh Northwestern regarding sealed bids for the construction of a new high school in Wittenberg.  The plan  for which could be viewed at the office of William Waters and the office of contractor W. G. Heins in Wittenberg.  That's all the newspaper had to say on the subject.  The proposed structure was based on the same plan used for Oshkosh's Smith School built in 1895.  With but a few minor differences the schools were identical, with the biggest contrast being the brick color; Smith School was a light hue and the high school was a dark shade.  The building had a transverse layout, a central pavilion had two arched entrances behind which steps led to the front door. Above were sets of three arched windows while the wings on either side included two arched double windows on the first floor and four single arched window above.  This pattern was repeated along the sides.  The building was topped with a hip roof with ample eves supported by long brackets.  For nearly ninety years the building served the community but was replaced, falling to the wrecking ball in the mid 1980's.

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