Mt. Penn High School

Original Mt. Penn School in 1922
Original Mt. Penn School in 1923

The original Mt. Penn School building was the precursor to Mt. Penn High School and was built in 1885 at 24th and Grant Streets. By 1923 there were 8 elementary grades and 4 high school grades in the building with 240 elementary children and 70 high school students. It had been outgrown and a new building needed to be built. The building continued to serve the district as Mt. Penn Elementary School until 1969.

Mt. Penn High School

Mt. Penn High School as most remember it is located at North 25th Street and Filbert Avenue in Mount Penn. This High School building was first occupied by classes in January 1924, when the enrollment was around 65 students. To accommodate the quickly increasing enrollment, an addition was added in spring 1928 and occupied in September of the same year. A second addition began in the fall of 1930 and occupied in February 1931. In 1934 yet another addition was constructed, which included additional classrooms, a large library, a manual training shop, a typing room, a food laboratory and a sewing room. At the time of this addition in 1934 the total enrollment in Mt. Penn High School was 371 pupils. By 1936 is was 430 pupils and it served students in 7th through 12th grades.

Mt. Penn’s school colors were orange and black, and their mascot was the “Mountaineer”. The school never produced a football team but had a very successful Boy’s Basketball team for much of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The Mt. Penn High School’s Boy’s Basketball team won the Class C state Championship in 1968. Other activities included Boys’ Soccer, Field Hockey, Girl’s Basketball, Cross-Country, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, and Bowling.

Mt. Penn High School
Mt. Penn Marching band – 1945
Old Gym – 1934
New gym – a part of the 1958 addition
Mt. Penn High School
Pep Rally in 1968

Proudly waves old Mt. Penn’s emblem: Black and Orange Fair!
Floats Triumphant in the breezes, No dishonor there.
Student days have fondest mem’ries: comrades here we stand
As our troth to Alma Mater, Pledge we hand in hand.

From the halls dear Alma Mater, We at length must part,
But thy mem’ry shall not perish, from a student’s heart.
Far away on life’s broad highway, All shall fortune try;
Still our loving hearts shall cherish Thoughts of Mt. Penn High!

School Song
View of the HS from Filbert Ave, before 1958 addition
View of the HS from Endlich Street, before 1958 addition

Mt. Penn High School underwent another considerable addition in the summer of 1958. An entire new wing was constructed with a new cafeteria, gymnasium and several new classrooms.

The original Mt. Penn School building is demolished in 1969

In 1969 the old Mt. Penn Elementary School (originally the high school) was razed to make way for a newer, larger elementary school. This coincided with the closing and sale of Pennside Intermediate/Elementary School, whose students were consolidated into this new Mt. Penn Elementary building. The building still is in use as Mt. Penn Elementary School today.

Mt. Penn High School
Hall Corridor in 1969

Mt. Penn High School
Student store in 1967

In 1975, Stony Creek Middle School was constructed off of Carsonia Avenue on the site of the former Woodrow Wilson Elementary School building. It housed 5th through 8th grades. However, just eight years after opening it was closed due to low enrollment. The 5th & 6th graders headed back to the Elementary School and 7th & 8th graders back into Mt. Penn High School. The then-still fairly new Stony Creek Middle School sat unused for 7 years.

Antietam Jr./Sr. high opens in fall of 1989

Mt. Penn High School was closed in 1989 and all students were moved into the Stony Creek Middle School building; renamed Antietam Junior/Senior High School. A wing was added to accommodate the home ec. rooms, science rooms, language rooms, and English rooms, shop, art room and business offices. It still serves as the Junior/Senior High today. After losing the oldest students in the district, the Mt. Penn High School building sat vacant for over a decade. It was originally sold by Antietam School district to a developer who planned on renovating the building into apartments. However, due to zoning issues and not enough room for parking those plans never came to fruition. Eventually the district bought it back and turned it into a Primary School, which it still serves as.

Mt. Penn High School
Mt. Penn High corridor/stairs

Buy Mt. Penn High School Vintage Apparel

SHOP BERKS NOSTALGIA’S DEFUNCT SCHOOL COLLECTION

Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the style, design & culture of the mid-late 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

Leave a Reply