About Central 

.                                            (Pg.  4  of  9)

  . .        ..     
Sixty-Nine Years ___ Since
our Graduation ___ Sixty-Eight Years
Yes !  our  Class  Numerals  are  still  embedded  in  concrete
in  front  of  the  school.

. . .

_________________ ___________________________________
” K N O W L E D G E 
Central   High    CLASS    MOTTO    from the early  1950s







1952 .. Class Officers: .. President,  . Bob  Knutson
Vice President, ..  Stuart Matheson*
Secretary,  Jeanne Camburn* .. &  Sally Six    . . .   Treasurer, .Tom  Klein ;
Girl Advisor,  Barb Frey   –   Boy Advisor,   Paul Williams*
Faculty Advisor,  Mr. Wendell Shroll*.

1953 .. Class Officers: .. President, . Bob  Sprague *
Vice  President, ..  Tom  Conlin*
Secretary,  Mary Towle   . . .     Treasurer,    Bonnie  McDugal
Girl Advisor,   Mary Lou Forsberg*    –    Boy Advisor,   Bob Tazelaar *
Faculty  Advisor,    Mr.  Wendell  Shroll *

 .       __________________________________________




Our Class Numerals in Bronze – are located in the main center walkway,
in front of the school, 3 & 4 squares-in – from the city sidewalk.
Our records-keeper has a Locator-Chart showing where to find
the numerals for every graduating class from the 421 Fountain St. building over the past 100 years.   …..   (A chart for finding our numerals
was printed in the 2012 class membership directory / booklet.)


^ looking NORTH from the front sidewalk ^

“Numeral Day” each year at Central was a big outdoor celebration.
The numeral in this photo is from the  Class  of  1912
The very FIRST graduating class from this building!
(The Year 2012 was the Last HS graduating class.)



    . . . .         

DID  YOU  KNOW ?   . . .   That  when  President  Roosevelt
died  in  April  1945  –  Vice  President   Harry  Truman
became  President.   Since the VP is also the President of the
Unit ed States Senate  (now with a vacancy)  . . .  one  of  our  Central  High Boys
Sen.  Arthur  Vandenberg   (CHS  1901)   was  made  the  President  Pro Tempore
of the Senate,  and  during  the  following  two  years  Vandenberg became very
close  friends  with  Rev.  Dr.  Peter  Marshall,  the  Senate  Chaplain  and  they
met daily  in  the  President’s  office  prior  to  opening  each  days  session.



in 2012, after completing its 100th year in this building.
(and 150 years of  being a city High School)
(The area is now the Central Campus of G.R. Public Schools Learning Center.)


One reason we combine our class activities –
is because of so many student intermarriages between 1952 and 1953.
(twenty-one couples that we know of so far ……. ( forty-two people!)

We usually refer to our high school as Grand Rapids Central High School
because there are other Central High Schools around the country,
such as Traverse City Central High School.


.d.  =  Deceased.     m.  Missing       i.  Inactive.

No Status , is a very good thing!  and means members are alive and well
and still on our “Active Mailing List” … and with known whereabouts.
The Status; ( d.   m   &   i. ) are those we refer to as … “LIST – THREE.”

PLEASE …… Help us  . (if you can) .  to find our  MISSING MEMBERS. –
(See listing on   . “Class Members” page.)  –  However, at this
point in time, it’s likely that most of them have passed away.
On the “Class Members” page,  if looking through the specialty group
‘Deceased Members’,  for example,  each page contains only 30 names.
At the bottom of some pages are tiny numbers to click on
in order to see   . the  rest  of  the  names.

Here are a few of our contributing members … and with many thanks !
Roger Danielson ’53    Barb Simpson ’55
Mary Bennett ’53     Ray Seidel* EGR ’52
Shirley Humphrey ’53    Tom Klein ’52
Jim Anderson ’52     Carmen Hall ’53
Betty Larson ’53    Judy Lindberg ’53
Sidney Straight  ’53     Roger Perham* ’52
Sunny Marlett ’53     Cherie VanPortfleet ’55
Doris M. Moore ’47     Donna  J. Hecker* ’49
Jan Oppenhuizen ’52    David Thompson ’52
Bob Barr ’52     Jackie Williams ’53
Clarence Bouknight ’53     Don Dunstan ’53
Joyce Cain ’52     Henrietta Fegel* ’53
John VanLaar – Kent Co. Aeronautics Admin. (Ret.)
Prof. Douglas Moore, (CHS) – Univ. of Wisconsin
Gail M. Snow  –  Author / Historian

Many items on this page remain intact, month after month,
and are intended as reference to new and old viewers alike.
Certain OTHER pages have all the new and latest information.


And  WHERE   are  we  located   TODAY ? ? ?
Our  Combined  Central High class  had  324  members.
129 are available and still in our 2021 Membership Directory
(which is our current mailing list) as of January, 2021.
Quite  a  few  have  permanent  ‘Out-of-State’  residences;
10  in Florida,     7  in California,     3  in Arizona,
4  in Ohio,   and  4  in Illinois  …  plus  the  following;
MA-2,     CO-3,     WI-3,     IN-2,     OR-2,     TX-3 ,
and  10  individuals in  10  other states.  –  114  are  STILL  in  MICHIGAN
(Many also have  winter address locations  away from their home towns.)

The FIVE Great Lakes Surrounding our State

SuperiorMichigan HuronErie Ontario
Only Lake Michigan is entirely within United States Borders.
The North Shore of all the others is shared with the Dominion of Canada

We, who live in Michigan, are fortunate,
indeed … to know that wherever we live – we are
not more than eighty-five miles from one of
the FIVE Great Lakes of North America.


Find our site faster with; http://www.chs5253.com/
Once you see the website, save it in favorites for easier access next time.
When you type the above http:// do so on the very top line of your Web Page,
and not in the large Finder Box for your Browser; Click the ‘Return button’,
and it should bring you right to our Home Page, with the picture showing.
Then, mention this to fellow classmates so they can follow our activities
and be completely up-to-date. But also … tell us things that we should
know and might want to share with other class members.


Our basic web arrangement was produced by: David Korff
DK digital studios.com – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Contact our Web Administrator / Records Keeper
‘Mr. Hap’  at  (616)   451-8855

We hope you will contact us – if you have a question
or comment  AND  to let us know if you move –
or change address information.


Well, now, we have finally discovered the background
regarding the term “HILLTOPPERS”

– – – – – – – – – –


The FIRST Central School in Grand Rapids

1849 – 1867

Atop Lyon Street Hill, at Barclay Ave.


More History about old Central High
in Grand Rapids, Michigan:


The SECOND of four Central (High) Schools in Grand Rapids:

The following was found in a book on a library shelf. “Grand Rapids –
Then and Now” It was written by James VanVulpen (1988) with
contemporary photographs by Rex Larson. – We have taken the
liberty of copying the picture captions here – word-for-word:


“The Central High School, serving all students in town who want a diploma,
has stood since 1868 on Ransom just south of Lyon, where Grand Rapids’
first stone schoolhouse was built in 1849. The class of ’88 [1888]
numbers forty-two graduates, spread among seven majors which
all concentrate heavily on languages and classical studies.
If we weren’t here after hours, we could get the janitor to
unlock the tower for us to enjoy the greatest view the city has to offer. ”
(the three-story square brick structure had a basement also partly above
ground and a massive bell tower in one corner. (Pg. 138)

“After a new high school building went up beside it in 1892 [see above],
the old structure was demoted to a grammar school.
[this new building probably
refers to what we know as the old J.C. Gymnasium
on the southeast corner of  Lyon and Ransom.]
When Central moved to its present site at [421] Fountain Street
in 1911, the 1868 building was torn down. Its successor served
as a junior high  and then, in 1924, became home to
Grand Rapids Junior College.
Now part of a campus covering several city blocks,
today’s JC Learning Center, –
the fourth education building to stand on this spot represents
Grand Rapids’ unchanging commitment
to the future, as symbolized in education.” (Pg. 139) ……


The THIRD Grand Rapids Central High School

The same location as #1 & #2, but on Lyon Hill at Ransom Ave.

(Later became the Junior College Gymnasium)

{ The front faces Ransom Ave. – Left side would be on Lyon Hill }
Note: much of this above building still stands, but it has been
severely re-worked, and refaced well before the year 2000.


( An interesting image; showing School #2 (on the left)
the newer School #3 (on the right)


And, of course, the FOURTH Central High building; (1912) ………
at 421 Fountain Street – as we knew it.
This photo was likely taken soon after construction was completed in 1911.

Notice there are no outside lamps at front entrance, and no flag pole until WW-1 days.
(Notice also the OLD windows, as we experienced them
before energy conservation partly boarded them up.)


Class Officers for 1952
Secretary’s; Jeanne Camburn*  &  Sally Six,  Class Advisor: Wendell Shroll*,
Boy Advisor: Paul Williams*,  Treasurer; Tom Klein,  Girl Advisor: Barb Frey
(seated) Vice President; Stuart Matheson*   President; Robert Knutson
(Class Colors; Maroon and Gray, ~ Class Flowers; Carnations.)


Class Officers for 1952

Making plans for presentation to class advisor, Mr. Shroll*
Standing: – Sally Six, Paul Williams*, Tom Klein,
Seated: – Jeanie Camburn*, Stuart Matheson*, Bob Knutson, Barb Frey.


In case your eyes have grown dim, I will reprint the names here – in larger print:

Class Officers for 1953

1st. Row:   Secretary,  Mary Towle,    Class Advisor,  Wendell Shroll*,
Girl Advisor,  Mary Lou Forsberg,    President, C. Robert Sprague*.
2nd. Row:      Vice President,  Tom  Conlin,*
Boy Advisor,  Bob Tazelaar*,    Treasurer,  Bonnie  McDougal.


The NEXT Web page – after this one
is the CLASS MEMBERS page.
Remember; this is the only page of our site
which is in Database form – and contains the names
of ALL 324 members in our (now combined) class of ’52 & ’53.
Only 30 names can be listed on one page, and small numbers lead you
to the next page. Often total counts are shown – and also several categories
are provided in order to find a classmate faster. There is also a Finder Box;
and of course you can always click on the Initial of a person’s Last Name …
(as it was in High School.) – The STATUS shown is of interest to us all.
(And the Status Codes are well known to us by now.)



Our Year Book Covers … for 1952 and 1953

1952 HELIOS Annual

Class of 1952 . Helios Annual – Vol. LX (60)

Class Motto: “We Build The Ladder By Which We Climb”

Class Colors: Maroon and Gray

Class Flower: Carnations

1953 HELIOS Annual

Class of 1953 . Helios Annual – Vol. LXI (61)

Class Motto: “Our Past Is Where Our Future Lies”

Class Colors: Navy Blue and Silver

Class Flower: White Gladiola and Blue Iris

Class Song & Poem: We have the words to each – in the 1953 Class Day bulletin.


September, 2012, we celebrated “Part-One”  Sixtieth Anniversary – (1952)

September, 2013,  celebrated “Part-Two” our Sixtieth Anniversary – (1953)
From that point, we have gatherings – but we no longer count exact years.

September, 2014,  celebrated a combined 52/53 Luncheon – Sunnybrook C.C.

September, 2015,    No Event,   but switch   from  FALL to SPRING … 2016

April 29, 2016 – FRIDAY  Reunion Luncheon,  at  G.R.  Women’s  City  Club
May 5, 2017 – FRIDAY Noon Reunion Luncheon, at G.R.  Women’s  City  Club
(the 65th – part- one reunion especially for the class of 1952)


May 4, 2018  was  a wind-up  to  our  Annual  Events.
It  was  part -two  of  the  65th  –  for  the  class  of  1953 . . .
And now we rest for a while:
No group event was held in 2019,  2020. or 2021


Note: If unable to find a name on the “Class Members” page …
you may need to click on a tiny number indicator at top or bottom of the page in order to reach subsequent pages in database – and see rest of the names.
(You can also type a Last Name in the “Finder” box at the top of that page)


And our Webmaster’s confession … where you see all manner of
dots and dashes on our pages – it is NOT Morse Code!
The website’s basic design seems to have a mind of its own
as to how it wants the spacing,  etc.  done in a certain way.
For the time being this is the only way we can “beat the system”
and make things look as we want them to,  for your ease of reading.

W. B. Hecker — Combined Class Secretary
Records Keeper  &  Webmaster   (Home Phone)
{ 616 }   –   451-8855


(2012)  The 150 year Celebration of Grand Rapids Oldest High School


Thanks for visiting this particular page of our Website.
Have you also looked at the other eight pages ?


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =





“NEW Name for a Very OLD School”

Look for a LINK to: Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS.com)
to learn more about a new plan for the very oldest school.



Above is an aerial photo of Central High …
but the scenery has changed considerably.
First of all; the entire two blocks of houses behind the school is now gone,
and is a green space with auxiliary parking for the present day school.
(also a lot across Lyon St.) and … The modern “angle” building on the right – (corner of College and Fountain,)  has been bulldozed (in August, 2016.)  Fountain School, in the upper right corner is also part of the
Central Campus now … which is the new school-arrangement.


(After looking at a “Link” use your back-arrow to return to our site.)


AFTER   2012   . . .   HAVE  A  LOOK   AT   THIS

Clink On This LINK

(Upper  Left-Hand  BACK  ARROW  returns you to this page)



end  of  this  page

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