Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Old Postcard Wednesday--City School, Dayton, Tennessee

There is so much history*surrounding Dayton, Tennessee, yet it has been difficult pinning down particulars on the City School pictured in this old postcard. And this one is old, but without any description written on the back, and since the postcard was never used--hence no stamp to check on for postmark date--I searched the printer's name for possible dating. The printer was the Valentine-Souvenir Co., New York, described by this source as: Based in New York between 1914 and 1923 this company was formed by the merger of the Leighton & Valentine Company with the Souvenir Post Card Company. They published halftone lithographic view-cards that were printed in the United States. While their later white border cards retained the usual limited pallet, these cards have an entirely different look. There is much more emphasis on the details that are printed in black rather than the color overprinting.

So, since this old postcard is in color and has a white border it would come under the later cards printed by Valentine-Souvenir Co.....around 1919-1923 is a good guess.

The first question that comes to mind (at least my mind) is: What happened to this building and could it possibly still be standing? If you click here you will see a picture of the Dayton City School class of 1929-30, with caption reading: This building burned in 1950 and was replaced a new portion which is now in the center of the current school. I now direct your attention to the typo in this caption. It makes if all the more difficult to narrow down information about the building. How is that wording to be understood: Did all but the center of the old building burn in 1950, thereby allowing Dayton to use that center in the construction of the current school? Or were they able to save portions of the sides of the building but not the center because it burned?

Oh well.... you are probably thinking, (as I did) There surely is a photo of the current building that will help answer the question. It was not so easy to come upon. The Dayton City School website titled Dayton City School-established 1907-A Great Place to Learn is a fine and extensive work, most likely beloved by administrators, teachers, parents, and students.....but it does not contain a photo of the school! This is the only image of the school I was able to find, after long searching....great shot, eh?

Photo of current-day City School, as identified here

 As I mentioned earlier, the school's website is quite extensive. I liked the Mission Statement and Honor Code, so thought I would share here:
Mission Statement: 
Our mission is to provide vital skills that will enable each student to become a positive, productive, and functional part of our society.

The DCS Honor Code: 

I pledge to:

* Uphold the honor of my school by being honest with myself, and my fellow man.

* Be Friendly and helpful to all whom I associate. {Hmmm, Shouldn't that be: with whom?}

* Follow the Golden Rule by showing respect for property and persons.

* Emphasize in all school activities that Honor is synonymous with the Dayton City School Spirit.

I was confused as to whether Dayton City School is a public or private school. So much of what I read about it on the website gave me the impression that it is a private school. But it is a public school system unto itself, and not a private school. What a unique (at least in comparison to the schools in my area) situation it is to have one school be an entire school system, to wit (highlighting added):

Rhea County has two public school systems, one of which is operated by the Rhea County Department of Education. A school superintendent, who leads a team of nine Board of Education members, supervises the growing Rhea County school system. School board members are elected to four-year terms.

The Rhea County school system consists of four elementary schools, one middle school, and one consolidated high school. Nearly 300 teachers and administrators provide instruction for more than 4,000 students. . .

Rhea County High School in Evensville provides a complete college preparatory track, including Advanced Placement and college credit courses, a business education curriculum with business, computer and office courses, and a complete vocational program. . .

The other public school system in Rhea County is the one school Dayton City School System. The Dayton City Council also serves as the Dayton City School Board, which appoints a school superintendent as well. Fifty-three teachers instruct over 700 students at Dayton City School. The school provides K-8 education and features state-of-the-art classroom equipment as well as inter-scholastic competition in football, basketball, and music. . .

Four private, parochial schools also operate in the county: Calvary Baptist School, Rhea County Academy, Laurelbrook Academy and Laurelbrook Elementary School in Dayton (all K-8). [Source: Rhea Economic and Tourism Council]

There will not be a test on the above information, nor on the links below, and aren't we all glad for that!

 *Important Dayton history

Scopes Trial
Dayton, Tennessee was the site of The Scopes Trial.

Williams Jennings Bryan died in Dayton five days after The Scopes Trial ended. Bryan College, a four-year Christian liberal arts school in Dayton is named in his honor.

Rachel Held Evans, "author, speaker, blogger," moved to Dayton at 14 when her father was hired for an administrative position at Bryan College. She wrote the 2010 memoir, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions.


A short history of the Scopes Trial and the controversy over intelligent design. Tristan Bock-Hughes' 2008 entry in the National History Day competition.



mythopolis said...

Interesting post, and while I am a Tennessean, I've never been to Dayton. It would be a detour off the two interstate arteries (I40 and I 24). It's an interesting aside how the coming of the interstate system consequently resulted in some towns flourishing and others declined. I40 out west basically by-passed the old Route 66 to the same end with respect to towns along that route. While those towns still survive as tourist curiosities, they appear as places time forgot. Two towns not far from Dayton (Soddy and Daisy) replaced their original schools and consolidated to form Soddy-Daisy High School. While I've not been there either, Soddy-Daisy has some resurgence because of its proximity to Chattanooga, making it a small town satellite community for those working in Chattanooga, but wanting a more small town life style.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

ah curses - i left a long response which seems to have been lost :)

The video on creationism is fascinating. One analogy that has been used to "prove" scientology is that if you look at the odds of the world having been created in its present form without some form of intervention they are so tremendously against it that it therefore proves the existence of God, and thus Intelligent Design. However a mathemetician went to court in the USA as part of a test trial against teaching creationism in school and dealt five cards from a pack - and then proceeded to prove that it was impossible mathematically for him to have received the cards he had.

I can only react in awe at the level of research you have put into this post - wow!

naomi dagen bloom said...

Fascinating and don't you wonder about a school system with its own postcard? Also, knowing Tennessee, am assuming it was a white-only place.

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ Thank you for the interesting background information on the roads and how they have cut off access to places that once were easier to visit. I would definitely take a detour to see Dayton after what I have read about it. And Soddy-Daisy? That name is enchanting!

Pixies~ Don't you hate when your comment is lost and you must attempt to reconstruct it? Sorry it happened to you.
I can only react in awe at your second paragraph! I'll have to read that several times, most definitely.

naomi~ I would bet you are right about the ethnic makeup back in the days when this postcard was printed. The demographics I saw online show a definite improvement in that regard today.

goatman said...

So Scopes lost!
I wonder if evangelicals still reign in Dayton?
Nice research that you did on Dayton history.



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