Then & Now: The Tapley School

The Tapley School has been a prominent building in Danvers for many years.

The large, yellow building that stands on Holten Street in Danvers has been used by the town for many years.

Originally built in the 19th Century, the building was used as a schoolhouse. As the population of the Danvers community continued to grow, the town decided to fix the overcrowding problem at many of the town’s smaller schoolhouses. The Tapley School was built, at $14,500, after being designed by Edwin B. Bacon.   

The elementary school, opening in 1897, was more modern and convenient for residents and students as it had eight classrooms instead of just one. The school also gained a positive reputation due to its principal, H. E. Wentworth.

Wentworth impressed the community with his teaching methods. He was able to adapt his lessons to various classroom situations, and had quite a bit of experience in grammar and English subjects. The Tapley School, and Wentworth, are more positive examples of the school system.

The Tapley School closed in 1979, but can still be seen on Holten Street today. The building is currently undergoing construction, but Danvers is still getting use out of the building, as it has been converted into elderly housing.

Carla King November 20, 2011 at 11:42 AM
Loved Tapley School! for sure my favorite! Anyone remember Mr Gravini and him making out look out the window at his new Le Car? Yet another school that closed while I was there! Williams closed half way through Kindergarten, then Maple Street closed, then Tapley closed and finally I closed down the Holten-Richmond..... I have such a complex! LOL The Housing Authority is renovating some of the outside of the building, but no big construction changes!
Karen Lewis November 20, 2011 at 01:08 PM
My husband went to the Tapley School from about 1944 - 1950. He lived across the street from Your Market (McKinnon's) at 72 Holten Street and when we got married we bought a house at 112 Holten Street, across from Tapley School. Two of our children attended Tapley, before we moved away to North Beverly. They would have gone around 1966 - 1969. It's a beautiful building and I'm glad it was made into elderly housing and not torn down. One of my uncles lived there, for a few years.
Sally Kerans December 04, 2011 at 04:39 AM
I loved Tapley School and feel lucky to have gone there. The building itself was a gem - the windows were enormous, the wooden floors were a rich, dark brown and they creaked, and we'd all gather at the top of the stairs for important announcements -- I recall the day they announced girls could wear pants -- and events, like the Apollo launch -- in the huge hallway in the middle of all four classrooms. And that's where we had gym. Mr. Sampson brought milk around to each classroom around 11:30 and we ate lunch at our desks. I loved Tapley School.


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