Park City’s Lincoln School was built in 1896 as an elementary school – one of three schools built to meet the demands of a growing school population as mining in the hills above town expanded. The other schools were the Washington School (now the Washington School Inn) and the Jefferson School (now the foundation of Jefferson Condominiums). The Lincoln School was built of red brick and stood at 1031 Norfolk Avenue. Park City high schoolers met in the upper rooms of the building while elementary schoolers met on the lower floors.
The town built an addition to the building in 1914, where the high school students were then relocated. Taxpayers voted on financing bonds needed to build the new extension, which cost $20,000 (over $538,000 today). Since Park City’s population had continued growing, it gave the high school students and the elementary students much needed space. The addition included a gymnasium, bathrooms, dressing rooms, a science room, and an assembly room.
Unfortunately, the addition had been built on top of underground springs. The land was loose and wet, causing a large crack grow in the foundation. The addition was declared to be unsafe and was torn down in 1927. The high schoolers then attended a new high school that was built on top of a section of Woodside Avenue (it’s the Park City Library today).
A lively place for its students, the Lincoln School had strong debate and ski teams; participated in spelling bees; hosted plays, operettas, choir, and band; held checker tournaments; and more. The kids at the Lincoln School called themselves lower-enders, while children attending Jefferson School on upper Park Avenue called themselves upper-enders. There was a friendly competition between both schools and between the kids on the upper and lower ends of town outside of school.
Lincoln School was demolished in 1936 when the three presidentially named elementary schools were consolidated into the new Marsac School, which is City Hall today. The schools consolidated as a result of families leaving Park City as the Great Depression disrupted daily life and closed or reduced work in most of the mines. The Marsac School originally served grades one through eight and the high school served grades nine through twelve. Kindergarten was added to the Marsac School in 1947.
Come learn more about the Lincoln school’s namesake: Lecturer Bryon Andreason will discuss Abraham Lincoln’s time in Springfield, Illinois in a virtual lecture called Some Unfamiliar Stories from Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield on Wednesday, July 14 from 5-6 p.m. Register here. A zoom link will be sent to you a couple of days before the lecture.