by Vincent Waraske
By the late 1880's it was becoming apparant that a school had to be built in the Riverside section of Paterson, as children from this area were compelled to walk to School No.10 for instruction.
Therefore in March of 1891 the Paterson Board of Education purchased two lots on East 19th Street near 3rd Avenue at the cost of $700.00. Shortly thereafter the board received four additional lots donated by Mr. David Schmutz of the Harmony Silk Company.
In 1892, Paterson's Centennial Year, plans were finally adopted for the erection of a school and the architect engaged was Mr. Marinus Houman, a man who had built many buildings in Paterson. Work on the school commenced in 1892 and the building was ready for use in September of 1893 with Mr. Frank D. McKinney being appointed as the first principal. Nine teachers were also appointed, all unmarried, as Board of Education regulation at that time forbid female teachers to marry and remain in their job. The original School No. 18 went to Grade 5 and sometimes Grade 6. Children who did not leave school to enter factory work and wished to continue their education beyond Grade 6 had to travel to School No. 10 for Grades 7 and 8 and after 1905 School No. 21 was also available. Many children in those early days, forced by stern necessities of life, were compelled to leave school early and enter thfe work force at an early age.
By the 1920's it was apparant that School 18 was too small and a larger building would be needed, and plans for this purpose were being considered, Then came the Great Depression and new construction was put off.
Finally in 1936, a new school was begun and it was ready for use in April of 1937 when the students and staff moved into the new building. Shortly after the new opening old No. 18 was torn down.
Many thousands of young citizens have passed through School No.18 over the course of the past 100 years and many of them, through the application of their skills and learning, have been able to aid to the steady progress of our city,state and nation.