Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
As many of you know, Perry is a town that flourished because of the railroad. The railroad was so prevalent here that we have many photographs in our collection that show the trains, the tracks, and more. In fact, Perry used to have so many trains that came in and out of town that we had our own roundhouse! Although the number of roundhouses is not clear from our records, we do know that one roundhouse used to be located where the elementary school is currently. What is interesting about the roundhouse, however, is that it was not just used as a place to gather trains! Readers, do you have any guesses as to what else might have happened at the old roundhouse?
If you guessed that people used to go skeet shooting at the roundhouse, then you would be right! According to the description of this photo, people would go out on Sundays and meet at the roundhouse where they would do some skeet shooting in the 1940s. What amazes me most about this is that guns were allowed so close to a place of work. If the shooters were fooling around too much, they could have injured one of the railroad workers! Perhaps this was allowed because the workers were not working during Sundays? Or maybe the railroad workers were in on it and allowed people to do this without the consent of the managers. It seems only someone who was there would know!
In any case, it looks like this is what people would do for fun during the 1940s. Readers, what do you do for fun on the weekends? Let us know in the comments, and join us next week for another Hometown Heritage Blog!
Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
Today I found something interesting about Perry that many of you might not know. If you grew up in Perry, or raised kids here, you know that Perry has many different buildings used as schools. There is the Elementary School near the Recreation Center, St. Pat’s School, and the connected Middle School and High School. However, did you know that there used to be another school building? Before you say something like “of course I did, they only demolished it recently silly”, the old High School that they recently demolished and are turning the grounds into a nursing home is not the school I am referencing. There is actually a second school in Perry that no longer exists!
This second school was demolished in February 1967, so it makes sense that many of you probably do not even know that it existed. Called the “Willard School”, it was built in 1900 at the Northeast corner of Seventh and Lucinda. It was primarily a school for young children, as it did not go past sixth grade. The Willard School was used for school purposes until 1940, when it was then converted to a youth recreation center due to disrepair until its demolishing 27 years later. Unfortunately, this is as far as the story goes in our catalogue. Why was an active school allowed to fall into disrepair? Why did Perry need so many school buildings? Who was Willard and why did he have his own school? These are just some of the questions that plague the mind concerning this school. We do not even know why it was eventually demolished, although it can be assumed that it was due to a continuing state of disrepair. If any of you readers have any more information on the Willard School, we would love to hear it! Adding new information to our records is always welcome and ensures future generations will be able to learn about the town they live in, so do not be afraid to leave a comment with your thoughts or extra facts!