Mill Spring High reunion plannedPublished 9:43pm Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The school had limited physical resources, but the students, with the help of Frances Walkerowicz and many other teachers, put in place various activities and programs. The school’s paper, “The Echo,” and the school’s annual (yearbook), “The Keen Age,” were initiated. Activities included the annual Halloween carnival, May Day activities such as “the dance around the May Pole” and the selection of the May Day queen and court (Ruth Price was one of the first queens). Mill Spring also held the junior-senior banquet and the school play.
The physical resources for athletics were practically nonexistent. The Mill Spring “Indians” had no gymnasium and basketball practice had to be done on clay (later concrete) on an outside court. Home games were played in gymnasiums at Stearns, Green Creek and Tryon. In spite of the handicaps they endured, both the boys and girls did well in basketball, winning in conference and tournament play. Within Polk County the schools were Mill Spring, Green Creek, Saluda and Tryon.
Although Walkerowicz and others found a way for the school to create a football size field with the hope that the Polk County School Board would fund a football team, the only sport played on it was baseball. School board members said there were not enough funds to allow for a football team.
That didn’t mean Mill Spring didn’t have boys who could hold their own in a football game. One year Tryon didn’t have enough players and they asked for some of the Mill Spring boys to come over and be on their team. Brothers Robert and Edgar Bowyer and twin brothers Herman and Furman Walker proved to be some of the best players on that team.
The class of 1960 was the last class to graduate from Mill Spring High School. The next year all the high schools in Polk County, with the exception of Tryon, were consolidated into one high school at Polk Central. The elementary school continued to operate in the Mill Spring School building.
In 1993, the elementary school also closed, and the Mill Spring School closed its doors forever.
Students who graduated from Mill Spring read like a Who’s Who of Polk County. They proved to have a profound effect on the professions they chose and the communities they live in.
– article submitted by Ted Owens