Page 7 - Harnett Life Summer 2019
P. 7

Erwin High School

 By Morgan Brown

                    Display of Lions Letter Jackets

 It’s not just goodbye

        the history of the school, Mr. Woodworth said before the
        current 10th Street location, the town’s school was locat-
        ed on the second floor of a downtown building owned
 Erwin School gymnasium  by Erwin Mills. Prior to that, the school was located just
        across the street from this downtown building, held with-
        in two homes on the corner of 12th and H. Streets. Prin-
 when Triton became the primary high school for the area,   cipal Backus said that once the building is cleared, some
 one of the county’s three central schools. The shift from   items are set to be displayed within the history museum.
 community schools – Angier, Coats, Dunn, Erwin, Lafay-  Chairman Lemons acknowledged that many people have   up to date school, I think it’s going to be huge for the kids,
 January 1, 1926, the town of Duke became the town   ette, and Lillington – to central schools, Harnett Central,   expressed interest in purchasing souvenirs, like audito-  I think it’s going to be huge for the community.” Chairman
 of Erwin. The Class of 1926 was the first to graduate from   Western Harnett, and Triton was challenging. For students   rium chairs or desks, but this possibility is still up for   Lemons echoed this sentiment about the final open house. He
 Erwin High School. Over the next 93 years, the campus   and parents, going into a bigger school with new students   discussion.  said there will be another school, it will be on the same piece
 would transition from high school to elementary school,   from different areas was certainly a new experience when   of land, and the plan is to save some bricks and materials
 but no number of changes would diminish the school’s im-  the norm had been for students to attend classes with the   Recently,  the  school  had  its  last  ‘open  house,’  where   from the old building to bridge the two schools together. “It
 portance within its community. Once emptied of all books,   same group of people from kindergarten to graduation. The   community members and alumni had the opportunity to   won’t completely go away, but I think folks will be excited
 desks, and other materials, the doors will close at the end   change of mascot was essentially a change of identity.  visit the school and have a final walk through the halls to   getting a new school for those kids to go to that’s safe, that is
 of June and within a few months the building will be torn   reminisce, share memories, and spend a bit more time in   21st century, that is contemporary. I think the kids will enjoy
 down, the land leveled back out, and within the next year or   As recorded in the final edition of the Hourglass yearbook,   their beloved school. Principal Backus said, “It’s a very   it and I think the community will enjoy it.”
 so, new construction will begin. Board of Education Chair-  Erwin wasn’t always known by its longtime mascot, the   tight knit community that has a lot of support, the two big
 man Jason Lemons said the overall timeline for demolition   Redskins.  A  letter  jacket  from  1934  sports  the  “Erwin   points of pride that have been in this history are the mill   “It’s not just goodbye,” he said.
 and new construction is tentative based on funding and ap-  Lions”  design,  and  this  jacket  is  displayed  in  the  Erwin   and the school.” The final walkthrough of the school was
 proval from the county and state, in addition to material   Historical Society museum. The exact date of the mascot   important, he said, because “it gave everybody a chance
 abatement, or the safe removal of hazardous building ma-  switch may not be known, according to Joey Woodworth of   to make their final rounds and say goodbye to a building
 terials, and finalizing new building plans.  the Erwin Historical Society, but he and current Erwin El-  that they had so many memories attached to.” He contin-
 ementary principal Thomas Backus noted that the change   ued, “I think it’s a great thing that they’re getting a new
 The  final  graduating  class  of  Erwin  High  was  in  1985,   was likely made in the early 1940s. Further elaborating on   Harnett Life ~ Summer 2018  Page 7

 Page 6  Harnett Life ~ Summer 2018

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