The History of Tamaroa High School
Tamaroa (population 740) is located in southern Illinois in northwest Perry County. U.S. Route 51 runs through the center of town and connects it to its larger neighbor seven miles to the south, Du Quoin. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad joins with the Missourri Pacific Railroad south of town and splits again just north of Tamaroa. A branch of the Collier Creek flows through the north end of Tamaroa. The town name comes from the historic Native American tribe of the same name, The Tamaroa. The Tamaroa Indians were a part of the once proud and strong Illiniwek Indian Confederation in Illinois.
Tamaroa residents probably began education efforts for their children in the late 1800s. For several decades the town supported its own high school and grade school district. The school building at the top of this page served as both high school and grade school until the early 1950s. A new high school building was then contructed “on the west edge of town”.
At some point, probably in the late 1980s or early 1990s, serious talks were initiated about the closing of the high school. These talks became a reality and the Tamaroa High School District was closed. The Class of 1988 was the final one to graduate from Tamaroa High. Brent Beltz, a member of this class, tells us that in the fall of 1989 the high school aged kids of Tamaroa began attend school in nearby Pinckneyville. This arrangement continues today.
Tamaroa still proudly supports its own grade school for grades K – 8. The original Tamaroa Grade School building is pictured above and below. A great fan of the site, Ella Wilson (a former grade and high school graduate of the school system), advises that the building pictured above… “served as both grade school and high school until the new high school “west of town” was completed.” .
Tamaroa High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1880s
Year new HS Built: early 1950s
Year closed: 1988
School nickname: the “Indians”
School colors: Orange & Black
School Fight Song: See Below