Our School History

Our School History is an ongoing project of Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society (GWBHS) to document the history of area schools. Formerly known as Called by the Peal of the Bell, this project has been made possible by the dedication of a team of community volunteers. Volunteers implemented a community outreach campaign to seek additional information from members of the community. In 2016, this resulted in informational panels being installed at each of the school buildings, detailing the individual histories of that school. Reports about the histories of many of the schools are currently available below (to download as a PDF, click the image).

In 2022 and 2023, a $9,100 grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan allowed GWBHS to digitally catalog over 1,500 documents and photographs into the GWBHS archive collections database, implementing professional standards. Museum Professional Shelby Nelsen and GWBHS Museum & Communications Assistant Anna Smith provided project administration, digitizing techniques, and volunteer training. This grant was made possible with a financial endorsement by the City of Orchard Lake Village, and support letters from greater West Bloomfield community partners.

In 2024, GWBHS will continue this project with a $5,175 grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts with the hope of digitizing the complete Our School History GWBHS Collection and making it available to the public online at https://gwbhs.pastperfectonline.com/.

School History Reports

West Bloomfield, the township of lakes and gentle hills, is one of transformation from wilderness beginnings and the domain of the Indian for some 12,000 years to agricultural prominence, to vacation dreams and summer resorts, to now established suburban living. The natural beauty and resources of its residents have played a key role in its growth.

Since its earliest settlement, these residents have been deeply committed to education as the key to passing on their heritage and preparing their children to shape the future of our township. Called by the Peal of the Bell chronicles the community’s history to carry that mission into the 21st Century.

The reports below includes a photos and documents of the history of the schools serving children living in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Like other more traditional museum exhibits it combines original artifacts and primary documents with text, captions, and analysis to help the reader understand the importance and significance of these items. This presentation allows you to enlarge images for closer inspection or readability because we believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. You might want to focus on people’s faces to see if you recognize them or to examine their expression. Perhaps you want to study clothing styles, penmanship, or advertisements of the day. These images also help you to visualize the environment of the scene and place yourself within it. Many of the pictures in this exhibit are actual original documents and artifacts produced by the people who made the history of West Bloomfield Schools. Examining them will bring you one step closer to the events that shaped our current school system.