By Lenny C. Lepola
High school senior composites, with a photo of each member in a senior class on a single page, were once more popular than they are today.
Big Walnut High School has racks of composites dating back to the 1950s hanging in the school’s media center atrium. But with consolidation of school districts in the 1950s, many school districts evaporated and senior class composites that once held a place of honor in older school buildings were put in storage – or worse.
The Galena School served Galena area residents from 1867 until consolidation in the 1950s, and then served a variety of Big Walnut Local School District grades, from 1 through 9. In 1991, the building was renovated to serve as a district administration building and sold last year to Journey Fellowship for church use.
“In 1991, when the Galena High School building was renovated to serve as the Big Walnut administration building the Galena Class Composites were put in storage,” said Myers Inn Museum Curator Poll Horn. “Don ‘Red’ Edwards kept his eye on the box of photographs until he thought they were doomed for destruction, so Red approached the administration to get permission to remove the photos to a safe place.”
Horn said 32 Galena High School Senior Class composites had been in storage at the museum for the past five years. The cost of hanging the photos was prohibitive until Big Walnut Area Historical Society volunteers Ed Roshon and Bob Cheadle agreed to construct parts and assemble a hanging flip frame.
“Today, Galena High School senior photos from 1917 through 1950 are hanging on the second floor of the Myers Inn Museum along with 11 composite photos from Sunbury High School and three from Center Village School in Harlem Township,” Horn said. “Missing from the Galena collection are 1930, 1936 and any after 1950. Should anyone find these missing composites and offer them to the museum, there is space to add them to the collection.”
The Myers Inn Museum, 45 S. Columbus St., Sunbury, is open from noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is by donation.
For more information visit, www.BigWalnutHistory.org.