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Burnips Corners District School (Salem Township : Mich.)



Burnip’s Corners was an unincorporated community within section 15 and 16 of Salem Township, in Allegan County, northwest of Little Rabbit River. It was first known as Salem Center. James Burnips was a local landowner and built the first store there in 1856. He began to sell lots of land for building in 1858. It is known as "Burnips."

Based on the Salem Township Historical (Burnips) facebook group post, Burnips Corners district school was organized in 1856 and the school building, or log house, was erected at Salem Center. According to an 1873 plat map the school stood on Joshua Meyer’s property, in 1876, a new frame building was erected one-quarter of a mile north in Burnips Corners. This building is still in existence in 2008. This building was moved and attached to the back portion of what used to be DeJoungs Store. During this era it was common to move buildings around. At this time the school housed grades 1st – 8th.

A brick building was erected in 1886 between Burnips Methodist Church and where the Glass Factory now stands at the cost of $3,000.00. The school was sectioned off into 2 rooms, the lower grades which held grades 1st – 5th and the upper grades which held 6th – 10th. Two more grades were added and Burnips Corners School was then considered a High School. The first commencement exercises were held in 1890 for the 10th graders. Children from the other one room schools in Salem would then come to Burnips to further there education in the 9th and 10th Grades.

In 1919 the Kelly Stone addition was built, adding a room off the back of the building that would hold the 9th and 10th graders. At this time a total of 3 teachers were employed, one for each room.

Clarence and Crystal Deters did janitor work at Burnips School for a couple of years in the late 1940’s. Clarence also drove bus for while for Burnips School at this time. In 1944 9th and 10th graders would no longer go to Burnips. They would go on to High school at Hudsonville, Zeeland or Hopkins. This building was used until the 1960’s and then torn down. In 1964 a High school was built in Hamilton and at that point all children were transferred to Hamilton.

A new building was built shortly after and, on November 10, 1961, the school was dedicated. It would now house K – 6th grades. At this time 7th grade was transported to Hamilton almost 15 miles away. Freda Conner was the lunch lady at Burnips Elementary in the 1970’s. This school was in existence until the 1988’s when it was closed down. The building was purchased by Dykstra Glass and the last known owner is Old Castle Glass.

A full list of the teachers at the school as well as early pictures of the school and it's students can be found on Salem Township Historical (Burnips) facebook groups page.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Burnip’s Corners Public School Program

 Item — Folder 1 of 1: [Barcode: 31141024409026]
Identifier: RH-A-4357
Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of one vertically-folded program for the graduation ceremony of the Burnip’s Corners Public School Class of 1890 located in Salem Township, Allegan County. Events were held at 8:00 PM on June 21st, 1890. On the inside are listed various ceremony events, and on the reverse side the names of the six graduates are given.

Dates: Publication: June 21, 1890