The first Wharton school (then known as Port Oram) was built in
1867. It consisted of one room and was taught by Henry Allen.
In 1882, the one room school house had been outgrown and was replaced by a
new four room building. Erastus E. Potter, who had come to town
earlier as the teacher, was the teacher and principal along with others,
at this new building.
By 1909, a new school, Potter School, named after the famous teacher and principal who spent the rest of his life in Wharton, was in use. Grades 1-10 were taught there and if you wanted to graduate high school and receive a diploma, you went to the next town over, Dover, and finished your last two years there.
Finally, in 1922, the town of Wharton graduated its first high school class from the Wharton High School. This tradition continued until 1953, when the high school became Curtis School and housed grades 6 through 8. The high school students attended the new regional school system with its flagship school, Morris Hills High School.
Grades K-5 eventually moved into a newly constructed school, Marie V. Duffy, named after a beloved teacher and principal in Wharton, in 1962. Twelve years later, in 1974, an addition was added to Marie V. Duffy School and was named the Alfred C. MacKinnon Middle School, after a board member who was instrumental in seeing it built, and the six through eighth grade classes left the Curtis School and moved over to the new building. The Curtis School was sold and became a retail establishment.
As the population continued to grow, a new addition was added at the same site to replace the overcrowded middle school. The newly built two story addition, which was to be a new, modern middle school, was still going to be called the Alfred C. MacKinnon Middle School.
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Page Last Updated: 08/24/10