Chester Township History & Genealogy
Lisbon School - District #7
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Little is know of the first Lisbon School.  In 1871, a new school building was constructed, at a cost of $2,700, on Coolidge Street, near the corner of Kenowa Avenue.  The building was erected by Frank McNitt, one of the first building contracts he was awarded.  His bid was a little higher than one or two others, but the school board was convinced he would do the work better and so found a way to give him the contract.”* 


It was a two-story school with three teachers.  It taught Kindergarten – 10th grade.  The high school course included algebra, geometry, English classics, world history, astronomy, physics (then called natural philosophy), with spelling bees and practice at public speaking thrown in.  Singing teachers came occasionally to hold special classes. . .”** 


The district annexed to the Sparta School system in 1956.  When Lisbon School first became part of the Sparta School District, it taught Kindergarten – 6th grade.  In its last few years, it housed just 3rd and 4th grades.  The school was closed in 1968 after Sparta built a new middle school.   The building stood empty for many years and was later demolished.


In a November 2008 e-mail, Laurie (Hubert) Soderstrom wrote, “At the time that I attended Lisbon School, it housed the 3d and fourth grades. . .  At the time my older brother (three years ahead of me) went to Lisbon, there were 6 grades and one teacher, Mrs. Maurice Anderson. Even when I was there, the bell was still in the belfry; there was still a potbellied stove upstairs (not in use, of course) and piles of old textbooks and ancient desks. There were recitation benches that we moved downstairs and actually used (not for recitations!) and the old bell still called us in from recess.”


*The MacNauchtan Saga – A Story Book History of an Ancient Clan and Its Branches With Illustrations and Biographies, Volume Two, V. V. McNitt,  Palmer, Massachusetts, 1951, page 119.

** page 121


Lisbon School circa 1905

1905 Tax Statement from Lisbon School to Chester Township

Chester Township
Ottawa County
Michigan, USA