The History of Spring Bay High School
Spring Bay (population 436) is located in central Illinois in the lower western portion of Woodford County. Illinois Route 26 is the main roadway leading you to and from Spring Bay. The Illinois River forms the western boundary of the town and played a vital role in its early growth. Spring Bay is located about 12 miles northeast of Peoria.
According to a book titled “The Past and Present of Woodford County. Illinois”, Spring Bay was platted in 1838. A post office was established there in 1844. Spring Bay became a grain shipping port and a very vibrant town. At one time, early in its history, Spring Bay was home to three hotels. The invention of the train would eventually be the down fall of Spring Bay. As railroad lines came to pass through Peoria and other nearby towns, Spring Bay became less of an importance for shipping. Spring Bay continues to be a pleasant town with businesses going strong in the present day.
A book titled “The Woodford County History (1968)” reads that Spring Bay High School District 119 was established in 1915. At this time two years of high school courses were taught. In 1918 the grade school building where high school courses were taught was burned down. For a year or two high school courses were discontinued while a new building was built. Once built, the new building agained housed a two-year high school until 1937. In that year, once again a new school building was constructed in Spring Bay. The new building allowed for a four year high school course of study. This arrangement continued until 1951 when the state of Illinois forced the closure of the high school.
Upon closure, the high school-aged kids of Spring Bay were bussed to nearby Metamora High School. The fate of the school building that once housed Spring Bay High School is a good one. The former high school building how houses a food pantry for a local church. The high school building is pictured above, with the church building sittng directly behind it. Photos of the basement, which once housed a classroom and possibly a lunch room, are available below. Thank you to Roberta Van Briesen for submitting these photos!
Spring Bay High School Quick Facts
Year opened as HS Dist 119: 1915 (2-year HS)
Year 4-year HS began: 1937
Year closed: 1951
Consolidated to: Metamora High School
Spring Bay HS nickname: unknown if athletics offered.
Spring Bay HS colors: ?
Spring Bay HS fight song: ?