Pocahontas High School
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Pocahontas High School 1909-1955
The first school in the Town of Pocahontas, VA was
the old log cabin parish school of the Episcopal
Church. The first public school was located in a
building referred to as the 6:30 Hall. Pocahontas
High School was established in 1908. In October of
1909, a newly constructed brick building overlooking
the Town at the head of East Water Street was
occupied and served the community until the fall of
In 1925, a second building was located adjacent to
Pocahontas High School to house the elementary
school. At the same time, a gymnasium was added
to the original building. This facility had a stage to
accommodate assembly gatherings as well as athletic
events. Later in 1943 and with the establishment of
the Federal Lunch Program, a cafeteria was added in
the basement area of the gym.
One of the lasting memories was the scenic walk up
Water Street and the beckoning cement steps leading
up to the school. From its early beginnings,
Pocahontas High School and the local community
walked hand in hand. And for almost half a century,
the "old school" stood as a silent sentinel high atop
the hill and watching over the Town of Pocahontas.
Pocahontas High School 1955 - 2008
Located on Route 644 and just inside the corporate
limits on the west end of Town, a new and modern
Pocahontas High School was opened in the Fall of
1955.Gaza Kovach, a PHS graduate, was named
principal and the school served the communities of
Boissevain, Abbs Valley and Pocahontas. In 1971
another PHS Graduate, Bessie Griffith Walker,
succeeded him as principal. In retrospect,
Pocahontas High School has maintained a long
tradition of former PHS graduates serving on the
staff at both the new school and the school atop the
The school changed from an 11 year to a 12 year
system beginning with the 1962 school year. A 7th
grade class was added in 1972.
Also in 1972 and as the result of an endowment
from the Alexander Foundation, an Industrial Arts
program was started. While started in a location
across Town, the program moved to the High
School in 1990.
In the fall of 2002, Pocahontas became a "school
within a school" - a Middle School with grades 6, 7
and 8 and a High School with grades 9, 10, 11 and
Pocahontas High School closed its doors on June 5th
after the graduation of the Class of 2008. The
history and accomplishments will live on in all of us
that attended Pocahontas High School.
Copyright 2016 @ The Pocahontas High School Grand Reunion Committee
Pocahontas High School Indians
PO Box 66
Pipestem, WV 25979
The Pocahontas High School Indians Fight Song!
Alfred R. Martin, PhD - Class of 1966
I lived in Pocahontas until I left to go away to college. It
was a great place to be a kid. It was safe and we knew
almost everybody in town. One of my fondest memories
was the old movie theater before it burned down. Back
then, you actually had to go to the theater to see a movie.
Imagine that! They always had two features. It cost a
quarter to get in and a quarter for popcorn. Once in, you
could sit there as long as you wanted. Come in half way
through the first feature? No problem. Watch the second
movie, then sit through the first half of the first one. On
Saturdays, they had the adventure and monster movies
which were my favorites. The scariest parts were when
you first saw the monster - usually a claw or hand. Of
course, after you saw the monster a few times, they were
never quite as scary after that. But there were times I felt
the beast was following me on the way home after the
movie. Good times!
Halloween Carnival 1956
Geraldine Lowry Fox - Class of 1956
I have such good memories of the 4 years at Poca. One of
my favorites is the day we planned our "sneak day" when
we were seniors. Edna Beasley (Dalton) had an old car
her grandfather had given her. Peggy Goodman (Gragg),
Reba Fern Collins (Gibson), Adrian Edmondson (Farmer),
Edna Beasley (Dalton), myself Geraldine Lowry (Fox) all
crammed into Edna's car with smoke coming out the
windows; of course we were smoking cigarettes. We
went up to Bluefield and had fun all day. We were all best
friends and were like sisters.
I feel so sad when I visit the area and see all the buildings
falling in and high school closed.
Barbara Mathena Shrader - Class of 1959
The Pocahontas graduating class of 1959 held its 50th
reunion with a breakfast at Ryan's in Bluefield, VA on
October 10, 1999. Games were played and prizes were
won by several classmates. We also learned that the
smell in the halls at the school were not caused by
someone who had eaten too many beans or rotten eggs in
someone's locker, but was caused by one Denny Presley
letting propane gas leak in the Lab. It is really interesting
what you find out at these reunions. Some of us managed
to keep our secrets safe for now. It was cold and raw that
Saturday, but a few of us brave souls walked around
Pocahontas, talked about then and now, and attended the
Pumpkin Festival on Peel Chestnut Mountain. I really
enjoyed seeing all my classmates and will just say "Let's
do it again!".
PS - It may also be noted that Gordon Gillespie's wife gave
birth when she was age 50. And a mighty handsome lad
Share Your memories...
If you have a memory or an old snapshot of Pocahontas
High School and you would like to share it with your fellow
Indians, simply click here...
Lou Grimm - Staff Member
To My "Kids",
I taught math and chemistry for 5 years beginning in
1955, then moved on to Richlands. I am happy to still be
in contact with some of my former "kids". In case
someone remembers me, I'm glad to report that the
cancer I had is in remission and I'm in good health for
being 88. But I have little strength and tire very easily. I
guess that's to be expected "at my age". Keep in touch
with your PHS friends - it means a lot.