Did You Know? Westside Public School

Arlen Walker on Jun 2, 2020 12:43:40 PM

1. SCHOOLstone croppedPhoto courtesy of Trent Clegg

Recent discovery of this stone as part of a fence in a Pocatello westside neighborhood raised the question, “Where did the stone come from?” The answer— Pocatello’s second stone school house.

The Westside Public School, the first large school, is part of Pocatello High and the Eastside Public School, the second stone school building, no longer exists. Old photos solve the “SCHOOL” stone mystery. Much information is available about the high school, but the Eastside School, in use as an elementary school until spring of 1964, is mostly forgotten.

School buildings were prominent features of Pocatello during the city’s first two decades. The earliest schools were the Westside School (constructed in three stages, 1892,1901,1903) and the Eastside School (constructed in two stages, 1895, 1897). Since Pocatello was a major hub for travel by rail, it was a convenient stop-over for cross-country travelers.

In addition to hotels and restaurants, tourists and travelers like souvenirs. Both schools were featured on postcards, plates, cups, dishes, paperweights, and other popular items.

The Westside school is now the center section of the Pocatello High School main building and the Eastside School later became Bonneville Elementary until it was demolished to make way for the Clark Street Post Office. Bonneville moved into the old Franklin Junior High on Eighth Avenue when the current Franklin Junior High was completed. For many years the school bell from the Eastside School (Old Bonneville Elementary) hung in front of Highland High School.


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