It was fun and interesting both to be invited to the 50th anniversary party at Boulder Hill School on Friday, April 20. The school tapped me, Pat Torrance of Montgomery, and the redoubtable State Rep. Kay Hatcher to talk to a student assembly about the history of Boulder Hill and of the school.
After classes were dismissed, a group of us were invited to speak again, this time to a mixed group of staff, students, and parents at the building to attend an anniversary open house. Kay had to leave, and her place was filled by Cliff Fox, who is the nephew of Margaret Dise, wife of Don L. Dise, Boulder Hill’s founder. Pat and I gave our parts of the program, and Cliff recounted some really interesting behind-the-scenes stuff about Boulder Hill. One of the graphics shown on the big screen in Boulder Hill’s cafetorium, from the Little White School Museum’s collections, was the architect’s drawing, below, of the school:
Here are a few fun facts about Boulder Hill’s early years the folks at the celebration learned:
1. The success of the development was due to the two G.I. Bills passed by Congress (for World War II and Korea veterans) from whence came most of the money to buy the houses there.
2. No foreclosures were allowed by Dise. His real estate company bought houses before they could be foreclosed, thus eliminating the whole idea of vacant homes in the development.
3. Dise was a visionary, who not only contributed, free of charge, the 12 acres on which to build Boulder Hill School and another adjoining parcel on which the Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethren was built, but who also donated $100 for every building permit that had been issued by the time construction on the school began.
4. The vote to issue bonds to build Boulder Hill School passed 1,340 to 199, surely the most lop-sided school referendum vote in Oswego School District history.
A fun history time was had by all…