The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
I have long wanted to write a tribute to the builders of the first Building Trades House in La Harpe.
The Donna Shirey house was built in 1974-75 by students of La Harpe High School, and Dallas City High School under the supervision of Don Smith, the Industrial Arts teacher, at that time.
La Harpe School Board President Dr. Meyers, and board members such as Dale Eppley, Wayne Rodeffer, and Bob Neff were on the board.
The land was bought from John Traser.
The floor plan was drawn, by Don, from a floor plan of a house in Duarte, California where he had taught prior to moving to La Harpe in 1964.
It is now amazing to think back to 1974-75 and envision a group of high school boys building this house in one school year, but they did just that.
The house is a three bedroom, 2 bath, double garage home.
One additional house was built by Don, without a basement, before he left La Harpe and began teaching at Dallas City High School from 1978 to 1986 and five more years of teaching in Florida.
Today when we hear of the cutting of shop programs and vocational programs and in general we wonder why.
La Harpe itself underwent many years of cutting back programs, teachers and the introduction of the Illinois School Board's suggestions to schools in Illinois.
We feel a great deal was learned from programs such as the building trades classes and the house still stands as a reminder to all of the students, board members, parents and general public of what can be accomplished in schools given the right set of circumstances.
Keep up the good work at the Quill. Dessa, your article on the lack of communication around the kitchen table anymore, and curbing the e-mails, texting, etc. was a good one.
Letter to the Editor:
To go along with Carolee Smith's article I, too, was a Trades, and a Building Trades student at La Harpe.
Graduating in 1996, I learned a lot in those classes. I still have a large bookcase in my house that I made in trades class.
La Harpe itself has gained many nice lovely homes from the Building Trades class.
Now that the high school is no longer here, it is sad that we won't have the opportunity to enjoy more homes built by many young people and great teachers like we have had here in La Harpe.