A HISTORY OF SHOREWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
"One of the village's most distinctive social organizations, Shorewood High School is a center of civic life as it supports and encourages recreation, art, drama, music, and other community interests. Early in Shorewood's history, its planners conceived the idea that education should provide for the adults of the community as well as for its youth; that the school should teach those things that all members of the community, for their young or old, desire or need to know.
On East Capitol Drive and North Oakland Avenue the six-unit high school plant stands on grounds planned like the campus of a modern college. Less than one hundred years ago, the site of this modern school was the scene of quite another life. Funds for the maintenance of a school were raised by private subscription, a system widely used throughout the territory of Wisconsin, as there were no provisions for public education. A single log cabin was built in a clearing of dense woods. Split log desks and benches, quill pens and homemade ink, writing books improvised from foolscap or from wrapping paper hand-ruled by the pupils, youngsters and teachers huddling about the centrally located wood stove on a cold winter's day, the teacher's cot stretching on one side of the room, and his supply of meat hanging well out of reach of hungry mice - this was a familiar scene in 1846, when school organization in the community that is now Shorewood had its beginnings.
This first school continued to serve the community until fire destroyed it in 1864. A second school, contracted of unfinished lumber, was built in 1869 on the northeast corner of East Capitol Drive and North Oakland Avenue. Destroyed by fire in 1895, it was replaced in the following year by a finer building of white pine, which has been remembered as the "pink school,” the original red paint of its walls having gradually faded with the years. As population increased, the need for more school space led to the purchase in 1908 of the site of the present Village Hall and to the construction here of a four-room brick building to serve as school and community center.
In 1925 the first permanent home of the Shorewood High School was completed. Today it is the high school Administration Building. Since 1925, five units have been added, and the Shorewood High School is now famous for the attractiveness of its buildings and the adequacy of its equipment. On the first floor walls of the Administration Building murals by local artists depict the history and development of the state and its municipalities. On the second floor a school library containing almost 15,000 volumes, with over 11,000 supplementary textbooks, supplies, reading matter under supervised guidance. There are well-equipped buildings for manual arts, arts and science and physical education. A large gymnasium with a swimming pool encourages a wide participation in intramural sports. The auditorium, designed after the RKO Theater in New York City, has excellent acoustics and a seating capacity of 1,300. Dramatic productions, sponsored by the high school drama group or by the Play Shop of the Opportunity School, are presented here; Milwaukee and Shorewood citizens listen to concerts and the villagers enjoy lectures on Sunday afternoons."