LOGAN -- When the last students walked out of North and South Cache high schools last week, it marked the end of an era.
At 78 and 82 years old, the schools are crumbling, unsafe, full of asbestos and beyond repair, but that doesn't make the wrecking ball any easier to watch."These schools are quite significant for a lot of folks," said Cache County Deputy School Superintendent Chad Downs. "They were a big part of their life, and we recognize that."
The schools are about 25 miles apart, at opposite ends of a lush farm valley: North Cache in Richmond, South Cache in Hyrum.
In between is Logan, Cache County's largest city, which has its own schools. Until 1964, South and North Cache high schools took in students from their respective farm communities.
In 1964, Sky View High School opened in Smithfield and the two old high schools became junior high schools. With the opening earlier this decade of Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, the old schools were turned into centers for eighth- and ninth-graders.
Students in those grades now will be schooled in their new buildings, along with sixth- and seventh-graders.
The demolition has been carefully planned for by district officials who have built new schools near the old ones. Beginning next year, the two new schools will be renamed North and South Cache to ensure the legacy of the South Cache Spartans and the North Cache Bulldogs.
Graduates of the two schools have spent recent weeks saying goodbye and submitting bids for chairs from the auditorium and other old fixtures.
Hilda Maughan, the PTA president at South Cache this year, did a mass mailing in April asking for memories of the school to be included in a book and turned over to historians for safekeeping.
Bernice Holmes Bell of the class of 1936 remembers walking to school in the snow through the hollow and standing by the radiator to dry out. At lunchtime, she ate a sandwich and watched Charlie Chaplan's silent movies with the rest of the students.
"There were no gangs, no fights, no dope pushers and no fear. We didn't think about being safe. We just were," she wrote.