This was then: Mr. Lovell

Mr. Lovell. — Courtesy Chris Baer

Chris Baer teaches photography and graphic design at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He’s been collecting vintage photographs for many years.

Mr. Lovell

Teacher Horace H. Lovell presides over his classroom in the Locust Grove School on Indian Hill Road in North Tisbury.

Locust Grove was one of three public school districts in West Tisbury when the town was organized in 1892, the other two being Lambert’s Cove School (“the Cove School”) and the West Tisbury “Center” School. (A fourth school, the Charles Neck School, was discontinued about 1890.) Locust Grove was also variously referred to as the “Walnut Grove School”, “Indian Hill School”, “Glenwood School”, and “North Tisbury School” over the years. Serving grades one through eight, Locust Grove enrolled as few as 14 students (in 1912) and as many as as 22 (in 1898.) A second teacher joined the staff for a few years in the early 1900s. Lovell taught here for nearly three decades.

Mr. Lovell disappeared mysteriously in 1909. Becky Cournoyer, whose family has lived in the old schoolhouse for three generations, recalls “I remember being told he was missing for a few months and was found to have drowned in either a pond or brook nearby, and my grandfather Harold Rogers joked he was found during spring thaw.” He is buried in North Tisbury. The Cournoyer family still owns Lovell’s pedal organ, visible on the far right.

The Locust Grove School served neighborhood kids until 1932.