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Chattanooga News-Free Press archive photo by Bob Sherrill. This 1965 photo, previously published in the Chattanooga News-Free Press, shows children at the former White Oak Elementary School.

The year was 1965. It was an era of school chili suppers, barbecues and carnivals.

The photo of White Oak Elementary School students and teachers accompanying this article was published in the Chattanooga News-Free Press on Monday, Oct. 11, 1965.

The school on Altamont Road was just days away from hosting its annual fall fundraiser, a barbecue and carnival sponsored by the PTA that would feature a cake walk, a dart throw, a bingo game and a country store, among other activities.

The photo is part of a collection of vintage newspaper images catalogued at ChattanoogaHistory.com, a website curated by history buff Sam Hall.

The children in the photo, who would be in their 60s now, are identified as winners of a school poster contest associated with the fundraiser. The teachers in the photo are Johnia Carver, left, and Ina Gray.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? Clemons Dining Room near Daisy sold buttermilk for a nickel a glass)

Chattanooga History.com

Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

 

 

The children in the photo are, first row, from left, Robin Mathews, Virginia McColl, Mitzie Clinton, Debbie Norris, Becky Handley, Sandy Hall; second row, Cathy Windham, Darlene Anderson, Darlene Crane, Janet Hixson, Paula Milleirons; third row, Marie Wesley, Donna Hargrove, Jane Maxwell, Debbie Gass, Joel Mason, Benny Carden; fourth row, Larry Burton, Pete Mitchell, Sharon Long, Bobbie Lewis and Nancy McCurdy.

In 1965, White Oak Elementary School occupied a relatively new school building built in 1959. In 1958, the previous White Oak School building, which had been built in the 1920s, was destroyed in a fire, according to news reports.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? Tennessee and Georgia officials fought over the General locomotive)

According to Chattanooga Times archives: "[A] fire believed to have destroyed the furnace room destroyed the White Oak Elementary School building on Feb. 18 (1958). Discovered shortly after 6 p.m., the flames raged out of control before fire companies could reach the building."

The White Oak Elementary School was closed prior to the 2005-06 school year, reportedly due to falling enrollment, and later became the Dawn School, a unit of the Hamilton County school systems, which provides "behavioral, academic, social and emotional supports in a therapeutic setting" to special education students.

Follow the Remember When, Chattanooga? series on ChattanoogaHistory.com and the public group on Facebook.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? In 1953, a giant vegetable was the talk of the town.)

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com.

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