HISTORY PMSS Summary 1940-1941

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 01: HISTORIES
HISTORY PMSS Summary 1940-1941


01 Laurel House II under construction. 1941_12_directors_rept_photos_001

TAGS: staff, events, reports, number of students, special gifts, Library, camps, Guidance Institute, dental clinic, plays, Community Day, Christmas, balls, trustees, speakers, forest fires, May Day, senior week, building construction, influenza, German measles, quarantine

HISTORY PMSS Summary 1940-1941


History of the Pine Mountain Settlement School

Staff Members:

August Angel, Printing
Carl Areson, Mechanics
Malcolm Arny, Counselor
Birdena Bishop, Community Group Teacher
Elizabeth Cain, Nurse (3 mo. during Miss Rood’s vacation)
Boone C. Callahan, Woodworking
Alice Cobb, Publicity
Edith Cold, Librarian, English, Literature and Library Science
Arthur Dodd, Business Manager & Pianist
Myrtle Lee Green, Itinerant Home Economics Teacher
William Hayes, Farm & Dairy
Gladys Hill, Cooperative Store, Economics & History, Mathematics
Maude Holbrook, Laurel House Housemother, Dietitian
Edith Jones, Secretary
Alice Joy Keith, Science
Anna Kivimaki, Secretary (Sept. 1940)
Wilmer Lehman, Doctor (temporary replacement for Dr. van Kolken)
Josephine Merrill, Bible & History, Housemother
Winnie Miller, Home Economics (Jan. – May)
Gladys Morris, Business Manager
Grace Rood, Nurse
Barbara Spelman, Bookkeeper
John A. Spelman lll, Art
Ella Trufant, Housemother, Singing Teacher
Dr. Preston J. van Kolken, Doctor
Nannie Ward, Home Economics, Laurel House Dietitian
Mabel Weaver, Substitute Nurse, Summer 1941
Rev. and Mrs. Richard E. Baker, Line Fork
Anna Wulf Pishzak, Medical Settlement, Big Laurel
Glyn Morris, Director

Number of Students: 117 (90 residential, 27 day)

Special Gifts:

Bell for the new Laurel House from Mrs. [Dorothy] Elsmith.

Events: Sue Pullens & Virginia McDonough, summer volunteers from Berea College, catalogued the Library, accessioned about 3000 books by Dewey Decimal System.


Page 2, 1940-41

Harlan County Kiwanis Club Camp, month of July, for 31 Harlan children. Activities included woodwork, sewing, scrapbooks, nature hikes, swimming and plays (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and The Ring and the Rose.)

Summer work camp of 8 students, helped with campus maintenance, construction, library, infirmary, farm work, and Kiwanis camp. The average weight gain of campers was 7 pounds; one boy gained 12 pounds in 30 days.

The Presbyterian Church again held a summer conference for young people at PMSS.

The third annual Guidance Institute held during the last week of August, with a total of 250 participants.

In October the Kentucky Dental Unit Clinic operated out of a State Board of Health trailer parked across from the Creech fountain. Two dentists served as many as 25 children a day.

On Mountain Day, October 9, the students hiked to the Putney Fire Tower.

On November 13 the Co-op English class presented a play “This Is Our Home” about families in different cultures, in observance of American Education Week.

The annual Community Day, held on Saturday, October 19, was sponsored by the Community Group. Special features were running sets, ballad singing, a softball game, and the new Dramatic Club’s presentation of 3 one-act plays: “Get Up and Bar the Door,” “Hit’s Man’s Business,” and “The Old Woman and the Peddler.”

(H.M.S.) Pinafore, a light comic opera by Gilbert & Sullivan, was presented before the Thanksgiving Ball, which was held in the new (unfinished) Laurel House.

Mrs. Elsmith, Trustee, presented a new Laurel House bell with the inscription “This noyse lyghtens fulle welle myn hart” at the cornbread and milk dinner on Sunday, December 15. The Christmas celebration began when Mrs. Elsmith rang the bell to announce “open house” festivities. Nativity Play was presented in the chapel Sunday evening, Big Log girls sang “Silent Night” and lighted candles in Laurel House Monday night, the ivy garland was hung on the balcony Tuesday evening by a group of girls singing “The Holly and the lvy”, boys brought in the evergreens and decorated them to “From Far Away We Come to Thee” on Wednesday night. The Far House Mummers then presented the Mummers Play with St. George and the Dragon. On Thursday night the Boys’ House wassailers brought the Yule Log to the open hearth in the living room, and the stately minuet was danced by the lords and ladies after dinner. Most students left for vacation on Friday.

As students returned from vacation, they found an almost completed Laurel House.


Page 3, 1940-41

Girls who had been living in the Art Room of the Workshop moved into the “playroom.” The Co-op Store was located just under the north gable of the dining room.

The annual Book Party, with students portraying famous characters in fiction and poetry, was held in the new Laurel House.

George Washington Ball was held February 22, with slow and stately dances. The girls wore their long dresses, but there were no dance programs.

“Family Portrait,” a play which encompasses the last three years of Christ’s life, was given Good Friday night.

The Board of Trustees met at PMSS Saturday, April 12. In addition to regular business, the program included the laying of the Laurel House cornerstone, and a visit to Aunt Sal’s Cabin to pay tribute near her April 13 birthday.

Dr. Julian Hart, Professor of Philosophy at Berea College, came to Pine Mountain to deliver the chapel talk in April, but instead went with Pine Mountain boys to fight a forest fire which had broken out on Little Laurel. Boys were called from their classes Monday afternoon to fight fire again. Eventually they were helped by two truckloads of C.C.C. boys and rainfall.

May Day festivities were held Saturday, May 3, on the Far House dancing green. Miss Christensen had been on hand to teach some new dances in preparation for this event.

Senior week began with the Baccalaureate sermon by Mr. Morris Sunday, May 18. May 21 the Community group honored the seniors with a banquet, followed by a dancing party and the reading of the will and the prophecy. The senior class presented a print of Van Gogh’s “Cornfield and Cypress” to PMSS.

The fourth annual Harlan County Guidance Institute was held at PMSS May 25-30. This date was chosen by teachers in preference to August.


Boys House remodeled during summer: sleeping porches replaced by rooms for 2 boys, 1 new bathroom added.

Laurel House — partly of stone and partly of wood construction. The foundation stone and stone used in the first floor were quarried from campus rock formations. The quarrying began in Saw Mill Hollow. Later the workmen hauled stone from the rock ledges beyond the dairy barn, and other parts of the campus. Flagstones for use in the terraces and halls were secured by former student Arney Hall. They were the gift of [truncated on original] ….


Page 4, 1940-41

…and taken from the land of the Swift Coal & Timber Co. of Whitesburg.

Westwind — a girl’s dormitory, under construction on Pole House Hill.

Old Log was modernized by the addition of a bathroom and kitchenette.

A new fire house for the storage of the fire equipment (ladders, buckets, hose, extinguishers and pumps, on shelves and hooks) has been constructed between Boys’ House and the Girls Industrial Buildings.


13 Pine Mountain students participated in the Harlan Folk Festival, organized by the W.P.A. (Harlan Recreation Council) in the Harlan Auditorium October 17.

Pine Mountain dancers presented a program at Loyall High School January 23.


At the beginning of its third year the Pine Mountain Health Association had approximately 175 members.

The community experienced a flu epidemic in early January, Dr. van Kolken treated an average of 50 to 100 cases each day. The opening of school was delayed a week, until January 12. 75% of the returning students had had flu at home during the holidays.

The month of March set a new record with eleven babies and an average of twelve bed patients per day.

For several weeks the PMSS hospital was quarantined because of 16 cases of German measles which developed on the campus. The hospital could not accommodate all the patients so the doctor’s house was used as a girls’ ward.

Visitors: William S. Willett presented a dramatization and display about his six years in India October 29.

Suen-i-Wu, Chinese student in the U. S., visited campus with Berea President Francis S. Hutchins.

Mr. George Kent, educational editor of Readers Digest, Dr. E. J. Weeks, Willis W. Fisher, & Dr. Julian Hartt, Berea College, were Chapel speakers.

GALLERY: HISTORY PMSS Summary 1940-1941

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