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Share Your Memory - Candler School Building

It only takes one moment to create a lifetime memory.  Now imagine the number of memories that can be created during the span of 100 years.  2011 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Candler Street School building.  Although many of the names and faces of all those they have entered her front door have moved on, the memories created within those timeless walls can stretch a north Georgia mile.

Built in 1911, the building was constructed to serve as an elementary school for the city of Gainesville.  The area around the school was predominately residential during this time and children would walk from near and far to attend the elementary school.  A child living on Forest Avenue may meet up with a friend coming from North Avenue and conclude their walk to school together.  A girl living on North Avenue may have looked forward to catching up with her school crush coming from Green Street.  Story has it one student was asked to start walking or riding his bike to school like the rest of the children because the horse he was riding on to school was causing too much a fuss.  Fiddlesticks!

In 1982, the Candler Street School building was reopened and currently serves as the office of BatesCarter.  Strolling through hallways today, you can’t help but think of the all times Principal Mary Self Squires may have peaked in on some of the classes during the late 1940’s.  Or what Principal Frances Miller Haynes had to say about the construction of Lake Lanier in 1957.  This is just a glimpse into the history of a building that many consider to be the cornerstone of Gainesville, Georgia.

100 years – A lifetime of Memories.

3 Responses to Share Your Memory

  1. John H. Smith says:

January 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Thank you very much for the Christmas tree ornament depicting the 1911 Candler Street School. As some of you already know, I have very fond memories of your beautiful building and eating sausage biscuits on the front porch while in the second grade. I will enjoy this special ornament.

With best wishes to all of you for a very happy New Year and prosperous 2011.


  • Billy Glosson says:

January 28, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I attended Candler Street from first through the fifth grade there. Ahhh…those were good days, during a much simpler time when you waved at every car you passed on Green Street because you knew them… I loved walking home from school with friends to Longstreet Hills, sometimes to den mother Joanne Adams’ house for cub scout meetings, kicking an empty can the whole way, maybe stopping at the Dunlap’s pond to catch tadpoles…my favorite teachers were Mrs. Blakeney, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Boyce, and of course my all time favorite, was my mom, Jimmie Glosson.

Every time I visit my friends at Bates Carter now, I see my mom’s photo on the wall as I climb the front staircase. The good memories always flow over me there. Many thanks to you, your firm, and Don Carter for for doing such an outstanding job of preserving the structure and its history


  1. Abit Massey says:

January 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

James ‘Bubba’ Dunlap, a Gainesville attorney, now deceased, loved to share this story. He was at his office on Washington Street when he received a call from his mother, who said that his father, Edgar Dunlap, had just run over a policeman in front of the Candler Street School. Frantic, he drove to the school, and much to his relief, the policeman he ran over was the metal policeman that sat in the walkway on Candler Street.



  1. Susan Anderson Bracewell says:

January 27, 2011 at 12:35 am

I have special feelings for this building for two reasons: 1) My husband’s accounting practice (BatesCarter) occupies the building and 2) I attended first and second grade at Candler Street.

One of my best memories is walking from school to piano lessons at Mrs. Madge Matthews’ house with Jane Strong Weaver and Frank Harbin. My favorite teacher was Runette Allgood who I was lucky enough to have as a first grader.



  1. Julie Walker Hartley says:

January 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I too attended Candler Street from 1st thru 5th grade. I think all my teachers were great but the ones I was particularly fond of were Mrs. White, Mrs. Moore (and we had a huge snowstorm my second grade year), Mrs. Stratton for music, Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Boyce, and Mrs. McConnell. I remember standing in the upper front east side window one afternoon and seeing a strange black cloud moving out in the distance. It ended up being the tornado that hit out on Thompson Bridge Rd near the old Roper’s appliances and on up to Riverside drive where it did quite a bit of damage. Remember all those great Halloween carnivals? And that crazy merry go round that wouldn’t pass safety inspections now at all! We walked home every day after school from Candler Street all the way over to Summerfield Terrace and up Glenwood and Park Hill. Our crowd was Carl Romberg, Frank and Sam Harben, Mark Thompson, Pat Coker, Carolyn Waller, the Murray kids, Alice, Beth, Robby, Audrey Edmondson and probably several others. Great times! Thanks for putting up this forum so we can share memories!


  1. Billy Head says:

February 9, 2011 at 1:32 am

I have fond memories of Candler St. School days, I lived on the corner of Green St and Forest Ave. Billy Lotheridge and his family lived in the same house (The Old Finger House) with us. Although I attended only the fifth grade and Mrs Ellison was our teacher. Billy Ellison and I
seemed to stay in trouble most of the time and on one occasion I had to report to Mrs Squires office for more instruction.
We moved into the Main Street School District and I started the sixth grade at Main Street.
Thank you for this opprotunity to remember some of our yesterdays.

Billy Head
Bill Head Funeral Homes & Crematories
Gwinnett County


  1. Jeane M. Parker says:

February 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I have a special interest in the building, in the office of Don Carter and the office of BatesCarter. I had the privilege of being the Architect for the conversion of the school building to an office building.
Don Carter was a joy to work with and gave me a lot of freedom in the redesign. The project was awarded a Historic Preservation Award. I had the pleasure of going to Atlanta to accept the award for the project.
It is wonderful to see the building still loved and in use. I have the Christmas ornament and will use it on my tree next year.


  1. Article in the Gainesville News, April 8, 1925 says:

February 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

The third week of Candler Street Play Ground proved to be a very successful week. On Monday the boys started their basket ball practice for the game to be held at the close of the week on Friday. The girls practiced for the dances, relays, jumping races, and other things to be given at the May Day festival. All through the week the children with their pep practiced until Friday afternoon came the climax. For the lower grades jumping was the main event for the closing day of the week. Agnes Spain won the running broad jump by jumping ten and a half feet.
A very interesting and exciting basket ball game was played by the sixth and seventh grade girls. The line-up for the seventh grade was: Wallace, Wheeler, Martin, Fowler, Christopher and Pethel. The line up for the sixth grade was: Reed, Walker, Cunningham, Kelley, Cox and Lumsden. Subs were Wofford and Gaines.
The seventh grade boys had the largest attendance, while the sixth grade came very close to them. The fourth grade girls had the largest attendance, with the seventh grade coming close as second.


  1. Lillian Jacobs Estes says:

February 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Many, many years ago I celebrated my sixth birthday. How exciting, I could finally walk one block on Boulevard and enter Candler Street School; A highlight in my life. A big beautiful building.
Some of my teachers were Mrs. E. R. Dent, Mary Self, Linda Syfan, Bernice Lay. My favorite second grade teacher, Mrs. Bessie Bickers, was known for punishing her students when they misbehaved by sending them to ‘The Dismal Swamp’. Later on her legacy involved starting The Humane Society of Hall County.
Yes, Candler Street is an extraordinary building to me because it housed such extraordinary teachers and friends. I shall never forget those happy grammar school days.


  1. Julius Hulsey says:

February 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I attended Candler Street School from 1945 to 1953. I had wonderful teachers each year, two of which I am fortunate today to continue to maintain close relationships, Ms Reba Ramsey Rich (7th grade)and Ms. Frances Miller Haynes (6th grade). I lived on Riverside Drive and had a horse named Prince. I decided it would be nice to ride my horse to school. Although I tied him up securely to metal playground equipment, Principal Mary Squires became very upset that I brought my horse to school. She made me take him home after I succeeded in disrupting the entire school.
I also have fond memories of Ms Bessie Bickers organizing parades for the Humane Society which would begin on Candler Street in front of the school. We would draw and paint posters to hang on the outside of our parents cars promoting the Humane Society.
My Mother picked me up after school one day and carried me downtown to Smith Brothers Cafe to enjoy their famous hotdogs. All these were wonderful memories.


  1. Nora Roe - BatesCarter says:

May 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm

In February 2011, Robby Monk from Full Media and I, visited with Frances Miller Haynes. She dictated some wonderful stories to add to our website. She started teaching at Candler Street School in 1942 and taught for 12 years and was principal for 8 years after that. Here are some of her stories:

Story 1: 
“We had to draw names to see what teacher the children would go with and wouldn’t tell them till the first day of school, and then they would see their name on the door. One day when I was teaching 6th grade, this little boy who gave me trouble all the way up through 5th grade, came running up the steps and into my room on the first day of school and I said, ‘how did you know that you belong in this room?’ And he said, ‘Oh, I knew I would be here because they always put me in the meanest teacher’s room.’ That child was one of the dearest children I ever taught and I got to loving him and he got to where he went home with me in the afternoons.”

Story 2: 
“One day something happened that I needed to run over to my house for, and just as I started out and down the hill it had started pouring rain and I saw a little boy walking and I thought I needed to take him home; he lived a few doors down from me. I asked him if I could take him home, and he said, ‘No Ma’am.’ I asked him a couple times to get in the car and I will drive him home, but he refused. So I went on, but called his mama when I got home. He was told not to get in the car with anyone, so he was just doing what he was told.”

Story 3: 
“I always stayed later than the teachers and children to be sure everyone was gone and everything was alright. When I got home that afternoon about 5 o’clock, there was this car sitting in the front of my house and when I got out of my car they were getting out of theirs. They walked on in with me and we sat down on the porch, and I said, ‘What’s troubling y’all?’ The father said, ‘alright, you tell her. You tell Miss Miller what we’re doing here’ and the child said, ‘Miss Miller, I tried to burn the school house down.’ I said, ‘You did what?’ He said, ‘I tried to burn the school house down.’ I said, ‘What in the world are you talking about?’ We hadn’t had a fire at school. He said, ‘I went on over there and found one of the basement windows open and I went in there and lit some papers and dropped them in there so I can set the school house on fire.’ I said, ‘What in the world are you talking about? Why would you do that?’ He said, ‘I was mad at my sister and that was her room in the basement room and I wanted to burn up her room. I didn’t care about burning the rest of the school; I just wanted to burn up her room’, he said. Of course the paper burned out and nothing caught on fire. I said, ‘Oh I just can’t imagine you doing a thing like that. Well, this is something else now that I haven’t had to deal with before. I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re just not going to say anything about this to anybody. You don’t tell anybody and I don’t tell anybody. And let me think about it, and then when I think about it and decide what to do, I’ll let you know how I’m gonna punish you. And you just know now that I’m gonna let you know.’ He said, ‘Yes’m.’ I never mentioned it to that child again. He never mentioned it to me. That child had been giving me trouble all the way up through the grades. He never gave me one minutes more trouble the rest of the time he finished Candler Street School.

Story 4:
“One day I started out to leave and I saw this book laying out there on the ground and I picked it up and saw a note inside that said ‘Look out, here comes Miss Miller the Killer’. That tickled me and I got the biggest kick out of that. I saw who’s book it was. I didn’t say a thing, except the next day at school I went to his classroom. I said, ‘is so and so in school today?’. The teacher said, ‘yes’. ‘Well I found his book outside; honey I was saving it for you; I brought it to you.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Thank you Ma’am.’ I never told him that I saw the note in there. And I knew my nickname was Miss Miller the Killer, and I never told them till they were completely out of school.”

Story 5:
“Started home one afternoon, turned and looked back and saw a basement window open. So I went back to close the window and thought I aught to lock that window. I got out my keys and went inside to lock the window and I heard a little something back in the other side of the room. There was a cloak room between the classrooms. There was this little child in there curled up leaning up against the wall fast asleep. I asked him ‘what are you doing in there?’ He said, ‘My teacher sent me out of the room to go to the cloak room and I reckon I fell asleep.’ As soon as I got home I called her and asked her if he was at school today? Did anything special happen? Did you see him leave? She said, yes, I guess he left with the rest of the children. She remembered after I told her. I was so mad at her.”

Story 6:
“Another little child, just like a little angel really. Dr. Ben Gilbert, the children’s doctor has these precious little girls. One kept coming into the office. She always had something to come into the office with. One day she came in and wanted me to pick a splinter out of her hand. It was always something little like that; I skinned my knee, will you doctor it for me? And I’d say Yes and we go into the clinic and put some mecuricome and a band aid or something like that; that’s all it needed. One day I saw her Daddy and I said, ‘Dr. Gilbert, seems to me you would doctor on your own children, you doctor on all the other children. He said, ‘don’t throw that up to me. My little girl won’t let me doctor on her. If anything happens to her she said she’s gonna wait till she goes to school and o to the office and let Miss Miller do it.'”

Story 7:
“It was against our rule to bring a knife to school. Once in a while somebody would tell me that a child had a knife at school. I called the child and said ‘did you bring your knife to school today?’ ‘Yes’m, they never did tell me a story about it; they’d own it. I’d said, ‘well you give it to me now and I’m gonna put it right here in my desk drawer. Then when you get ready to go home from school you come by here. I’m gonna give you that knife; you can take it back home and not bring it back anymore. He said ‘Yes’m. Well that happened I don’t know how many times; little children that brought their little boy scout knives to school. And that was just little boys for you. Well that wasn’t doing anything really bad.

Story 8:
“If I had to go to the bank or something I would get one of the reliable children to come sit in the office and answer the phone. Something happened one day; I was gone to the bank and I got this little girl to come sit in the office and her cousin was in the first grade at that time, and he came in to say something to me and saw her, his cousin, sitting at the front desk. I walked in about that time and said, ‘Well Clint, how do you like our new principal here? and he looked up at me and said, ‘I think you about run out’.


  1. Carol Bowers Kraus says:

July 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

This was great reading!

  1. Carol Bowers Kraus says:

July 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I really enjoyed reading the responses.
Mrs. Miller’s stories were a delight to read. I always remember her being helpful and kind and it was easy to give her due respect.I saw her in 2006 and she looked so much the same as when I knew her in the 50’s.
Candler St. holds so many great memories as the neighborhood school we were fortunate to have for so many generations.(actually 3 generations) I attended 1-6 in the 50’s and my children were there in the 70’s. We bought the house across from the school and it was great to watch them walk to school. At that time Mr. Hill was principal and the safety patrol boys were replaced with the two kindly policemen.
Some of my best friends today are friends I met at Candler St.It was just a special place. My memories are of getting to ride my bike to school, walk to Girl Scouts cabin, learning to play kickball on 4th level.The janitors were Hamp and Curtis and I especially remember how kindly Curtis (Rucker) was doing what would seem was a thankless job! The lunch ladies and (of course) the teachers all help mold us. It takes a village, as the saying goes.
My daughter’s picture was in The Times when the school closed as she (Emmeline Embry) and a friend were pictured with Mr Spain who attended the first year it opened. It was indeed a sad day when the school closed that year. How glad I was to learn that Don Carter had bought the building and saved it from the wrecking ball!
Thanks for the opportunity to express gratitude here.
Carol Bowers (Embry)Kraus