Set amidst some trappings of an old-time school day (lunchtime and Pledge of Allegiance) a group of nearly 60 people—some former students, some children and grandchildren of students, and quite a few other interested people—gathered at the former schoolhouse in Bohannon on Saturday to celebrate its survival for 100 years. They seemed to enjoy their history lesson very much.
Peninsula High School opened its doors to the white students of West Mathews, the peninsula between the East and North rivers, in October of 1913. At one time children entered the first grade and left with high school diplomas. Consolidation of public schools whittled away at the offerings. First the upper high school grades were gone, then middle years, and by the time Peninsula School closed in 1946, it taught grades one through four only, according to a history presented by Gordon Keith.
The two-story wooden schoolhouse survived because the Mobjack Lodge of Odd Fellows used it for many years as a meeting place, then the West Mathews Community League, formed in 1987, took ownership in 1989 and began the long process of preserving and improving the property. Relics from all three of the building’s roles were on display Saturday.