Blast from the Past: School's Out

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Ever heard of the Alachua County Library District's Heritage Collection? No?! The Heritage Collection consists of over 1,100 historical photographs from all aspects of daily life in the Alachua County area. Treat yourself to a journey of amazing historical detail and profound human interest through this annotated photographic exposé of the Alachua region spanning the 1870s through the 1970s. Experience and understand local history in a different way, through the faces and places of the past that still influence the present.

School is almost out for the summer and there are lots of excited seniors waiting for graduation. Alachua County high schools have their graduation ceremonies at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center or the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Florida campus. Now is a time to look fondly back at all those years of learning and the classmates you befriended along the way. In the Heritage Collection we have many class pictures and photos of graduating seniors. Look to see if you can find someone you know.

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Tebeau School graduates Haffie and Mary
Haffie and Mary, graduates from the Tebeau School, a private girls school established in 1873.

 

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First Gainesville Public School 1893
Students in 1893 in front of the first public school building in Gainesville.
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Orange Lane One-Room School
The Orange Lane School was northeast of Hawthorne.
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High Springs School Graduating Class 1906
The 1906 graduating class from the High Springs School.

 

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Union Academy School
Postcard from the early 1900s of the Union Academy, a school for Black students for almost 60 years.
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Gainesville High School Class Exercises Day
Gainesville High School Class Exercise Day, probably in 1915, was a trip around the UF campus for graduating seniors.

 

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Gainesville High School Football Team 1920
The Gainesville High School football team in 1920.
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Lincoln School Football Team 1923
The Lincoln School was built in 1923 and replaced the Union Academy. This is the first football team from the new school.
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High Springs High School Football Team
The High Springs High School football team, the Sandspurs.
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Graduating Class of Hawthorne School 1934
The 1934 graduating class from the Hawthorne School.
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Fourth Grade Hawthorne School 1935
Hawthorne School 4th grade class photo in 1935.
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Kindergarten Class at P. K. Yonge Laboratory School 1938
P. K. Yonge Laboratory School Kindergarten class in 1938.
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Kirby Smith School Rhythm Band 1941
Kirby Smith School rhythm band in 1941.
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Kirby Smith School Class 1942
Kirby Smith School 1st grade class photo in 1942.
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J. J. Finley School Class 1947
J. J. Finley School class picture in 1947.
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Kirby Smith School Choir 1948-1949
Kirby Smith School Choir in 1948-49.
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Gainesville High School Class 1950s
Gainesville High School class photo in early 1950s.
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A Play at Kirby Smith School
A play at the Kirby Smith School.
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High School Students at P. K. Yonge Laboratory School 1950s
P. K. Yonge Laboratory School high school students in early 1950s.
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Gainesville High School Chorus 1952
Gainesville High School chorus in 1952.
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P. K. Yonge Football Team
P. K. Yonge Laboratory School football team.
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Gainesville High School Homecoming Parade 1956
Gainesville High School homecoming parade in 1956.
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Gainesville High School Try Hi Y Club 1955-1956
Gainesville High School, Tri Hi Y Club in 1955-56.
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Shell Elementary School Chorus
Shell Elementary School chorus in Hawthorne.
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Class of 1959 Reunion
Class of 1959. Probably the 20th reunion of one of the last classes to start at High Springs High School, before it joined the Alachua High School to form the Santa Fe High School.

Learn more about the histories of these schools: Gainesville High School, Lincoln Middle School (formerly Lincoln High School), A. Quinn Jones Center (also formerly Lincoln High School), Union Academy, Parker Elementary School (formerly J. J. Finley School), Shell Elementary School, High Springs High School and Kirby Smith School (formerly the Gainesville Graded and High School and now the Alachua County Public School District Office). More school history can be found in these books and at the Matheson Historical Museum.

By BethN on May 15, 2024