Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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The Manhattan School
Early Years of the School
The Manhattan School started within 30 days after the Board was appointed. Clyde Sherman was the first teacher. Burton was appointed supervisor of the temporary one-room school building, located on the Dunbar property. The group then purchased a nearby acre on Kelly Road for their first school. Money for the Manhattan property and school had been collected from Sunnydale and Des Moines families. The school district accepted warrants until a 10-mill tax levy could be collected. Burton, Miller, and Dunbar, meanwhile, paid all the expenses.

Everyone helped get the new school ready to open. Board members built a fence around the school grounds and dug a well; local people planted trees. Maude Brown Bissell, daughter of a Seattle pioneer, was the teacher. She married Walter Bissell, another early Highline settler, in 1909. The one-room building, heated by a large pot-bellied wood stove and accommodating all eight grades, was later expanded to two rooms and a basement, plus a temporary portable classroom.

This two-room school was located at First Ave. South and Normandy Rd. Children from Manhattan went there until the Highline School District was organized in the early 1940s. Then they went back to the Sunnydale School, and the Manhattan School became a social hall. The school was razed in 1962. A dental clinic now occupies that location.

Continue on to learn more about the later history of the school and park.

14700 6th Avenue SW   /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 988-3700  /  Fax: (206) 243-2784
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