Bells were ringing overhead and on the playground May 16, as residents of West Hempstead came together to celebrate the long anticipated 100th Anniversary of Chestnut Street School.
More than five hundred community members, young, old and in between enjoyed the festivities, food and games under a crystal blue sky.
Music from the 1910’s played as children tried their hands at old time games-nickel in a haystack, sack races, marbles, horseshoes and coca cola bottle toss. Local political figures honored the occasion and the newly refurbished Meneely Bell in the historic bell tower could be heard by all.
The kindergartners of the school were invited to ring the Historical Society Bell. John Shaud, President of the West Hempstead Historical Society had made up this exact mini replica of the actual bell tower for the kid’s enjoyment and education. After commemorative gold pencil giveaways, historical displays and videos, face painting and bookswaps, residents were treated to a cake donated by Riesterer’s Bakery. The cake was made up as an exact replica of the original 1913 schoolhouse. Alumni of Chestnut Street School reconnected, three generations of alumni were discovered, couples who met at Chestnut and later married were identified.