Every week we share a different image on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and invite our viewers to play some Vintage Essex Trivia. The collage we shared above features the cover and one of the interior pages of a commencement invitation from Essex High School.
What year do you think this was? Do you recognize any of the graduates or faculty? Have any stories to share? What do you think of this invitation?
Here is what the community had to say and they did narrow down the years this invitation could originate from:
Anh Thu Cunnion: Well, my Uncle Lyle was four years younger than my grandma, so I’d say somewhere around 1933-34? Thank you for the pic, my dad Steve Cunnion is going to love it for his research.
Norma Goff: It was before 1935, when my mother, Alice Thelma French was a teacher there. Her name changed to Walker in Dec. 1935 when she married my Dad, Dan Walker. Phil Lawrence, Helen LaMountain Sharrow, Lyle Mason, Vera Bigelow Cross and others were all well known here for many years. Phil owned the Village Meat Market for many years. Lyle owned Mason’s oil heat business .
We actually do know that this invitation was for the class of 1933! We only shared a portion of the invitation in the collage, but see every part below and click an image to enlarge.
First up is the front page — is that globe perhaps a logo of the school or just a decorative element? Does anyone know?
The first interior page of the invitation is below, and it tells us the date of the graduating class. The full page reads: “Class of Nineteen Hundred and Thirty-three Essex High School invites you to be present at its Commencement Exercises Monday evening, June twenty-sixth at eight-fifteen o’clock James L. Harlan Memorial Hall.”
The second page of the interior lists information about the class:
There were only 10 graduates in this class: Vera Augusta Bigelow, Veda Margaret Calkins, Glenmond Dennis Donohue, Garland Asahel Ferris, Stephen Eugene James, Mary Kay Jerdo, Helen May La Mountain, Phillip Willis Lawrence, Lyle Guy Mason, and Lee Elisha Mather. Quite a few surnames I recognize! One is actually my great aunt, who I unfortunately never met.
The faculty listed are: J.E. Toner, principal; A.T. French; L.B. Doyle, Assistant; and M.E. Beirne.
Do you have stories to share about any of these people?
It’s quite interesting to see the associations assigned to the class including a class motto (Succeed, we can; we must), class colors (silver and old rose), and a class flower (white carnation) — the class colors are even used on the invitation! When I was in high school we did not have any of that.
Finally, the back side of the invitation is seen below, which did not have any information on it, but as you can see the pink ribbon held the entire invitation together.
Do you have any thoughts to share? Please leave a comment below!
Share Your Essex Artifacts
If you want to share your old photos of Essex (also brochures, postcards, menus, tickets, artifacts, etc.) on the blog please email us at editor [AT] essexonlakechamplain [DOT] com.