John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When I was young, I went to St. Lucas Ev. Lutheran Grade School in Bay View. I can remember learning hymns so we could sing in church. We had a small bookstore that we took turns operating. Up in the school attic were old materials that were kept in storage. They had old desks, old books and other old things no longer being used. We only had a small playground, so we had to play at Dover St. School Playground. Across from the Pastors house, a hermit lived in a house with a lot of tin and sheet metal on the roof. We rarely saw the hermit, but he was said to have owned an old classic automobile that was quite old. When he died, the school took over his land and tore down his buildings. His land became part of the playground. One student was playing around with fireworks and lost a few fingers as a result. Behind the school, the city kept the horse garbage wagons and one day we saw them shoot a horse who went lame. They told us that the horse would be sent to the glue factory.
In the basement of the school were some bowling alleys that were used in the evenings or after school was over. In the old days, this was how they past their time. My grandfather, Otto Schumacher, was on the school board used to bowl there. Other times he would go into the backroom of Nieman's Funeral Parlor and play cards with some of his firends. Otto also was the second person to run Woodlawn Cemetery for St. Lucas. He died in September of 1941. I was only two months old and never got to meet him.
Long after I graduated from grade school, they razed the old building and built a new school building. In modern times, they repeated the past action, and built another new school building after razing the old one.
It is hard to believe the history of this building and neighborhood. This was in the west portion of old Bay View.