Coldbrook Christian Reformed Church Where the School Was Begun in the Basement

Leonard Street School Building was Dedicated December 29, 1908

Creston Christian School History
Beginning in 1890

Creston Christian High School Early History
(This information was taken from the 75th Anniversary booklet, 1891-1966.)

Our school was first known at De School voor Christelijk Onderwys (the school for Christian instruction), starting in the basement of the Legrand St., later known as Coldbrook, Church in 1890.

It was a parochial school under the supervision of the Consistory. Even after a Society for Christian Education was formed, there were joint meetings of the Society and Consistory.

The first teacher, Mr. Groen(e)veld, a teacher from the Netherlands, volunteered to teach for whatever tuition he could collect. He remained at the school as teacher and administrator until 1905 when he left for a similar position at the Dennis Street School, now known as the Mayfield School.

Among some of the problems to be faced was the lack of proper tools for teaching, since the instruction was given primarily in the Holland language. Some help and advice was received from the Paterson area where Christian schools were established earlier.

Toward the close of the 19th century some lots were purchased on Frank Street and a building erected for a total cost of $2,000.

In moving to the Frank Street location the upper grades received instruction in the English language but the lower grades in the Holland language; even after moving to the Leonard Street location the teaching of all subjects in the Holland language was mandatory one day per week. On January 28, 1901, fire damaged the school building in the amount of $883.42 but it was covered by insurance.

In the early days of our school salaries were small, the principal and administrator received $50 per month, and experienced teacher $25 per month. One novice was paid $10 per month. (She had to have her parents' signature on the contracts because she was only 16 years of age.

Tuition was not on the family plan then, but was ten cents per week per pupil, and in 1906 was raised to fifteen cents per week.

A note in the minutes shows an expression of thanks to a friend of the school for the donation of five metal drinking cups and hooks for the same, to be hung at the pump.

Summer vacations were for two weeks only; later, about 1912, the month of August was designated as vacation time.

In 1908 a committee was chosen to look for a site for a new school. After looking over several locations the committee recommended that property be purchased at eh corner of Leonard and Coit Avenue. Four thousand dollars ($4,000) was borrowed at the bank for the erection of the school. In 1910 the name of the school, Creston Christian School, was adopted by the school society. In 1914 the principal reported that there were 326 children attending Creston school.
In 1918 Pine Street School agreed to accept Creston 8th grade graduates for the 9th grade.
1922 the school board decides that the minutes will be in English from now on.
1923 sparks from the school chimney cause a fire that destroys the cupolo. Miss Slootmaker accepts the position of principal for the salary of $1,500 per year.
1930 Due to the depression, teachers salaries were reduced by about 50%.

A committee was appointed by the board in 1944 to look for sites and secure options for a new school. This committee recommended the plot of ground known as the Kooiman property, located at the corner of Page and Spring Avenue. A Society meeting in November of 1944 authorized the Board to purchase this.

Created: 18 May 2011