Zac McDorrMany of us are mourning the closing of our grand old Morse High School. I graduated from there, as did my mother and grandmother. I hoped my kids would, too. We have survived the loss of Morse High School before, however, so I know we can get through this.

The original building was built in 1904 and named after Annie Morse, the mother of Charlie Morse, who funded the construction. It was a modern building that served Bath well for 24 years.

On March 23, 1928, an operetta was held at the school. Later that night, a fire started somewhere in the building. Over 50 rats and mice had been killed in the school over the last several days, and it seems likely that they were chewing on the electrical wiring.

The fire was discovered by two telephone operators when the school line lit up in the middle of the night. A patrolman investigated and pulled fire alarm box 35. Soon there were 10 hoses aimed at the school.

Superintendent Clinton Wilson, along with Red McMann and Fred Pecci, climbed into the burning building to retrieve the school records. They succeeded in dragging out all of the filing cabinets, but could not empty the school safe.

Unfortunately, the fire reached the attic and the roof collapsed.

Along with the building itself, countless books, trophies, musical instruments, personal effects, and pieces of equipment were lost. The Bath High School Alumni Association has spent years searching for a copy of the lost 1928 yearbook.

Were all the copies destroyed in the fire? Was it ever printed? Nobody knows.

Charlie Morse was devastated by the fire. The town came together to help the students, and the current building at 826 High Street was started. It was complete and ready for business when the school year started in September 1929.

Source: “Memories of Morse,” Richard Aldridge, 1979