It had only four rooms and it served roughly 86 students, but when the Chestnut Street School opened on Feb. 3, 1913 it was a source of great pride for the West Hempstead community. It was the newly formed West Hempstead Union Free School District's very first school.
Since those days, the building has had numerous additions. It's been closed and boarded up, and even served as the site of the West Hempstead Public Library for a period of time. Today, it houses the district's administrative offices and Kindergarten Center, and the archives of the West Hempstead Historical Society. But on Monday, the building itself will be celebrating a historical moment, it's 100th birthday.
Through March 11, residents can view the “History of Chestnut Street School" exhibit created by the Historical Society at the West Hempstead Public Library. The Society is also planning on commemorating the school's centennial anniversary with a celebration this spring. More details will be announced at a later date.
Community members who wish to learn more about Chestnut's history can also visit the Society's Facebook page by clicking here. By becoming a fan of the page, you'll also have access to more historical photos from West Hempstead that are posted each week.
If you have artifacts from Chestnut Street School that you would like to donate, they will be accepted at the reference desk of the library. Those interested in contributing to the centennial celebration this spring, can contact Lesley McAvoy at email@example.com.