Ringwood High School

The History of Ringwood High School

Ringwood (population 471) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the northeast portion of McHenry County. Illinois Route 31 is the main road that will take you to and from Ringwood.  The county roadways of Ringwood Road and Barnard Mill Road also pass through town.  The Union Pacific Railroad appears to travel to Ringwood as well.  Ringwood is about 5 miles south of the Wisconsin border and 20 miles west of Lake Michigan.

Though it has a long history, having been platted in 1837, the village of Ringwood was not incorporated until 1994. The town was aptly named because the original settlement was surrounded by woods on each side, therefore it was “ringed with woods”.  The web address of  http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=6607 provides some nice photos of the downtown area of Ringwood as it appears today.

Roberta VanBriesen McKisk provided us with an article fropm a book titled “The History of McHenry County 1885”. On page 788 of this book the history of the Ringwood School is laid out.  A copy of this article is available for your reading pleasure below.

In summary, the Ringwood School was established in 1866.  The original building served the community and surrounding area continuously until 1962 when a new building was erected.  The article states:

“Lorena Jepson McCannon, an alunmi of Ringwood School (circa 1862), who moved to Ringwood in 1918 when she was in fourth grade, remembers that the school is in the same building as is there now (located on Barnard Mill Road adjacent to School road, now converted to apartments).  There were outdoor toilets–one on either side of the building, one for the boys and one for the girls.  At first there were no electric lights, just hanging kerosene lamps.  The school was heated with big coal burning stoves. There were two rooms downstairs.  The first three grades were in the room on the left, and the other elementary grades were in the room on the right. The upstairs was the high school and the eighth grade.  Cora Peet from Richmond was her teacher and she remembers Miss Ingram and Mr. Bottomley.

In 1920, a community high school disrict was formed and Ringwood was included in the McHenry Community High School District.”

In reading this, it is probable that the school offered some high school courses, maybe even a two or three year course of study after eighth grade. If you have any information to support this please contact us at eganann@sbcglobal.net .

Ringwood High School Quick Facts

School Established:                       1866

High School closed:                       ? (students attended McHenry HS)

Ringwood School replaced:            1962 (new one built)

Ringwood Students attend today:    Johnsburg High School

(Unknown if Ringwood High School offered athletics)


Goes out to Roberta VanBriesen McKisk who provided the entire block of information for this page!!

We Welcome Your Assistance

If you have information to share regarding Ringwood High School and its many great years of service to the Ringwood community, we are hopeful that you will share it with us. If there was a high school athletic program at Ringwood, photos of teams and the school building along with the team nickname and colors, the fight song, and many more bits of information would be interesting and fun to share. You can e-mail these items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.  60631

The History of McHenry County 1885 (page 788)
A black and white photo of a document

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Submitted by Roberta VanBriesen McKisk

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: