As C&H’s fortunes grew, so too did the village of Red Jacket and the collection of surrounding communities that collectively formed the metropolis of Calumet. The increased population brought with it an increase in school aged children and the required public schools to serve them. At its height the booming Calumet metropolis boasted a total of nineteen schools scattered across its sprawling borders, each serving distinct neighborhoods and mine locations. But as Calumet’s fortunes began to wain after the turn of the century, the economic burden of such a large and scattered school system was becoming too great to bare. In response the public school system elected to build itself a new centralized elementary school, to replace the vast assortment of smaller schools scattered about the district. The result was the M.M. Morrison School.
Built in 1919, the Morrison School was the region’s newest and most modern school building, utilizing all the latest thinking in school design and construction. The massive brick building stood over three stories in height, built atop a raised basement level that housed the school’s gym. Thanks to its brick construction the building was virtually fire proof, and a generous supply of windows provided for a large amount of natural light to enter the classrooms found within. A renovation in the late seventies added a pair of external fire escapes to the building’s far ends for added safety. The building’s main entrance faced 8th Street, while a large playground and school yard sat behind the structure along 7th Street.
NOTES: The Morrison school would end up serving the Calumet area for well over 75 years, finally closing down in the late 90’s. Today the building sits empty, but plans for its conversion into apartments are in the works.
DIRECTIONS: The Morrison School sits along 8th Street, one block north of Oak Street. Upon entering Calumet from the south along US41 turn left at the light onto 6th Street extension. Continue along this road into town until arriving at a four way stop. Turn left here onto Oak Street and continue west for two blocks. Turn right here at the stop sign onto 8th Street. The school will be half way down the block on the right.