SYRACUSE — In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Syracuse Community Center, about a hundred people who attended the Syracuse Elementary School gathered there for a homecoming celebration.
The school, which was operating in the mid-1920s, according to a student of that time period, had grades one through eight in the building until the late 1950s when it was changed to a one through sixth grade program. After the school was closed and the students were transferred to the Southern Local School District school in Racine, the building sat empty until 2002 when it was put up for public auction, and the late Bob Wingett purchased it and gave it to the town to be developed into a community center.
His vision was to make it a place where resident could gather for cultural, educational and recreational activities — a goal which has been achieved by an active Board of Directors who continue year after year to improve the facility and to expand its role in the community.
The reunion of Syracuse alumni, which took place in early July, is the “first” of what is now being planned as an annual event.
Bill Winebrenner of Syracuse, who is approaching 94, was attending the school in 1928 and was the oldest “graduate” at the reunion. Former Sheriff James Soulsby of the class of 1937, sang “God Bless America” and asked a blessing on all those attending the homecoming. The alumni and family members enjoyed a potluck dinner with Community Center volunteers offering homemade ice cream. To help with Center expenses, the group made a donation.
Featured at the homecoming were an array of memorabilia and photographs, many provided by those attending, along with a presentation on the history of the school which served the community so many years ago. John Slack, one of the homecoming organizers, handed out DVDs filled with pictures and stories of Syracuse and Meigs County. While there, he scanned many of the pictures brought in by the alumni for use on another DVD.
Attending the event were these Syracuse alumni and family members:
Syracuse — Gene Hood, Jack Williams, Ora Bass, Rick Crow, Jeanie Allen, Janice Lisle, Sharon Cottrill, Janice Teaford Zwilling, Bill and Stephanie Arnott and son, Shawn Arnott, Gordon Fisher, John Bentley, Robert Cunningham, Jeff Hubbard, Butch Lisle, Bill Winebrenner, Robert M. Hysell and Ann Hubbard Felty.
Pomeroy — Jim and Susie Soulsby, Susie Jeffers Casto, Harley and Kathryn Slack Johnson, Karen Neigler Hawley and Ken Collins.
Middleport — David and Janis Hendrix, and Roger and Elaine Stewart.
Racine — Mick Winebrenner.
Gallipolis — Lynne Baker Brinker, Linda Neigler Davis, Willie Guinther and Guy Guinther.
Thurman — Jim Oiler.
Columbus — Barbara K. Fisher, Don and Linda VanLanger and Bill Hysell.
Ontario, Ohio — Jim and Sandy Hood.
Boliver, Ohio — Shawn and Linda Burgess.
Torch — Bill and Dorothy Fisher.
Waverly — Sandy London Moore.
Mansfield — Cherri Bass Rinehart.
Belpre — Sam Arnold.
Marietta — Howard K. Parker and Bob Parker.
Dayton — Bill Jeffers.
Sandyville — John and Vivian Slack.
Lancaster — Jim and Sheila Hubbard.
Parkersburg, W.Va. — Linda Eichinger Collins and Nancy Eichinger Hubbard.
Fraziers Bottom, W.Va. — Randy Lipscomb and Norman Hendrix.
Bluffton, S.C. — Bob and Nancy Parker Grueser.
Waterford, Wis. — Dana Hendrix.
Milwaukee, Wis. — Earl Hendrix.
Smolan, Kan. — Lucy Hendrix Pike.
Fort Myers, Fla. — Ava Sayre.
Keystone Heights, Fla. — Roger Weaver.