Newspaper Article About old School
July 31, 2004, 10:35PM
future for old Kemah school
has plans for a museum and visitors center
2004 Houston Chronicle
Kemah Historical Society When: Meets fourth Monday of each month Where: The Kemah
Community Center Why:
To preserve Kemah history Dues: $15 for an individual; $25 for a family Those interested
in joining are encouraged to attend the Aug. 23 meeting at 7 p.m. For more
information, call Melissa King at 281-334-0364. To volunteer for the group's
Dec. 13 Casino fund-raiser, contact Pepper Coffey at 281-334-2398.
- This Galveston Bay community has seen its landscape change drastically with
the addition of the hugely popular Kemah Boardwalk.
the boardwalk, the small, woodframe houses that years ago were home to locals
have been transformed into antique or gift shops.
the changes, some who were born and raised in Kemah and continue to make it
their home have formed the Kemah Historical Society in hopes of preserving its
the group's goals is to work with the city to restore the original Kemah School,
which in recent years has been home to Boat Shoes Unlimited, a retail store that
sells sailing apparel at 705 Texas 146.
building is significant because it is one of the few original public structures
in the community. Although the year of construction is unclear, the earliest
photographs of the building date to 1920 or 1921. Some records show it was in
existence in 1901.
call for the schoolhouse to be moved a few blocks to the intersection of 6th and
Bradford, where it will be renovated to serve as a museum and the city's
city is working to buy the building, although no selling price has been reached,
Kemah City Administrator Bill Kerber said.
would like to move the building because its present location is prone to
flooding. Part of the city's flood remediation plan calls for moving the school
and three adjacent businesses. Kerber said the area would then likely become a
school is a source of fond memories for some local residents, including former
Kemah City Councilwoman Sylvia Streater, who attended the Kemah School from 1945
1948, students left the schoolhouse to attend a new school built across Texas
146 in the same location as the current Stewart Elementary School.
recalled the old Kemah School as having two classrooms. First and second-graders
were taught in one room by Nadine Sellers, while third and fourth-graders were
in the other room with L.D. Rice. At some point, an addition was built to make
room for fifth and sixth-graders taught by LaVace Stewart, who also was
don't remember much about the school except playing outside," said Streater,
65, who operates Sylvia's Cozy Corner gift shop in her family's home at 6th and
don't know if it was uncomfortable (because of the hot and humid area). I know
the windows opened."
former teacher, Streater shared her memories of old Kemah at a recent meeting of
the historical society with 22 people in attendance.
historical society hopes to increase the awareness of Kemah's history for those
who live there and those who visit. Already, old-timers have visited Stewart
Elementary to share their memories of the area and its people.
actively collect, document and preserve artifacts and memorabilia related to
Kemah's past from the American Indians up to the significant events of the
present day," the group's mission statement says.
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