A History of
Marlowe Elementary School, here in Berkeley County, was West Virginia’s first consolidated school. At the time the school construction was begun in 1921, there were four one-room schools serving the area, and parents were very eager for more room in order that eight grades would not be taught in the same room.
The first summer, the School Board had enough money for four walls, but no money for the roof. They asked for bids for a roof to be paid for in the spring after the tax money came in. John D. Landis, president of the Board of Education at that time, made a trip to Hagerstown, MD, to see about an architect. He returned disappointed because they wanted a large percentage of the tax money already received.
Plans for the structure were sent to the State Superintendent in Charleston and were returned later with approval and only a few changes. The State Superintendent called the building site often and always wanted to know how much money was being put into the building. He would always say, “I don’t see how you can get so much building for that small amount of money.”
There was much talent in the small area of Marlowe at that time. The school was built by all the local people. Mr. Reeves was overseer. Mr. Clyde McMillian did the carpentry work, and Mr. George Drake was the bricklayer. Mr. Thomas Van Metre, later to become principal, did the landscaping along with the help from some of the students. Norman and Andy Landis put in the flagstone walks and edged the driveway. Tulips were planted along the walks and around each tree. Local women of Marlowe would cook meals for the men who worked way into the night so they could finish the school.
The school opened for students in September of 1922. Arnold Mish served as Marlowe’s first principal.
With the population of Marlowe expanding over the years, the building itself has been added on to. In 1969-70, the first open classroom was built. In 1974-75,the second addition was built, adding a whole different look to the building. An interesting fact noted is that the bricklayers for these new additions were the sons of Mr. George Drake, the original bricklayer.
Throughout the years, Marlowe School has been very fortunate to have had some very fine principals serving our school. They are as follows: Arnold Mish, Palmer Keesecker, Thomas Van Metre, Robert Kilmer, W.C. Myers, Glen Shaffer, Anthony Merceruio, Creed Sions, Andy Hills, Jack Cornell, Sherry Rogers, and Amanda Stevens.
Many teachers have come and gone since the early days of Marlowe, but one especially dedicated teacher will always be remembered. In 1963, after serving many years at Marlowe School, Hazel Barnes died. In order to show our appreciation for her, the Marlowe PTA established a small Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1964. This was to aid a financially deserving student from this area to enter college. Thanks to the dedication and constant support of the PTA and other community members, we are still giving scholarships.