|Masson Elementary School at the time of its opening in 1959|
For 31 years, Masson was an employee of the Lorain city schools. He was an assistant superintendent of schools, as well as being a former president of the board of trustees of the Lorain Public Library. He had been in the teaching profession for 52 years until his retirement in the summer of 1947.
His civic accomplishments included having helped organize the Lorain Musical Arts Society and the Lorain Philharmonic Orchestra. He also wrote the first Lorain history book: "Our Town, the Story of Lorain, Ohio," for the public schools.
Judson Masson passed away on February 20, 1954, and it was a nice gesture for the Board of Education to name the new elementary school on Lorain's west side after the longtime educator.
Masson Elementary opened up in time for the 1959-1960 school year. The school hosted an Open House on Sunday, October 4, 1959.
As farm land continued to be transformed into neighborhoods on Lorain's west side in the early 1960's, it was obvious that more space was going to be needed in the schools. In early August 1964, it was announced that Masson School would be growing.
According to an article in the Journal, "Approximately 48,000 square feet of new construction will be added to Masson School, between 38th and 40th streets, east of Edgewood Dr." The article also noted, "A central core which will be used by both elementary and junior high grades includes a gym (which will substitute as a dining room), kitchen, library, multi-purpose stage, music room, and central office space. Twenty-one new teaching stations will be provided, capable of handling 300 pupils. This includes two more kindergartens, a music room, two science rooms, industrial and fine arts rooms, four elementary and six junior high academic rooms."
It was the announcement of the junior high addition that convinced my parents to move in 1965 to make sure we were in the Masson Junior High district.
On October 22, 1966, Masson Junior High was dedicated. "Masson is an excellent example of what Lorain can look forward to with a modern school system," stated Mrs. Thomas Evans, president of the schools's Parent-Teacher Association.
Judson Masson's widow attended the ceremonies.
Next: Remember those half-day sessions?