Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten Daze

A Knollwood School kindergarten class of 1956 or ’57
Photo/courtesy of George Martin

Well, school is back in session. Students are settling into the classroom routine. And for some, it’s a new experience. We’re talking kindergarten kids.

While many, or most, in this era have already been to some sort of pre-kindergarten class, that was not the case years ago. In fact, the first day of school really was a first day in a school for kindergarteners. And it could be traumatic for both parents and students.

Yes, it was only half a day of school, but it was all new: the drop-off (or rope walk), the first-day outfit and haircut, the new friends from the other side of town, the teachers, the classroom. All of it.

Then there was the school itself. There was a time when there were three school buildings in Fair Haven.

Kindergarteners now go to the Viola L. Sickles School. But, that has not always been the way.

Some of us, in the mid-1960s, were toted all over town on a rope that was led to the Youth Center, now the Fair Haven Community Center to classrooms that were held it what is actually now the police station portion of the building. There was also a time when Fair Haven schooling was segregated.

And then there were times when location was the determining factor — kids who lived closest to Sickles went to Sickles and those who lived closest to Knollwood went there.

But, whichever way it was for a pint-sized Fair Havenite, there was always that first day of school and always a class photo not long after.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day, courtesy of native Fair Havenite George Martin, is a look back at a kindergarten class from 1956 or ’57. The class is posing out in front of the school, as you can tell by the columns that still stand in the same spot of a much bigger building.

Martin told us when he first sent the photo that the teachers are Miss Heiser on the left and Smith on the right.

The pose is an interesting one with what looks like fledgling class clowns as book ends. Notice the outfits and shoes. What kind of shoes do you think dominated picture day in the Fair Haven of the 1950s? Buster Browns?

Recognize anyone in this pic?

Thanks to George Martin for  this classic gander back in Fair Haven school daze!