In 1910, the Elder's Ridge Academy fell on hard times but was financially rescued by the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company. However, in 1914 the school ceased and was restructured as the Elder's Ridge Vocational School. Although a number of influential citizens discussed the idea of a high school, it was decided that graduates of a vocational school would be of more value to the community. This was the first state-supported school of its kind in Pennsylvania. Just as the Academy enjoyed many years of success and acclaim, so did the Vocational School. Although academic subjects were taught, the emphasis was on practical training in areas such as agriculture for male students and home-making for female students. Tuition to the school was free to those who passed the entrance exam. A number of the buildings used by the Academy were used by the Vocational School. In 1937, the Vocational School ceased and became a high school. In 1954, the main high school building was named in honor of Rev. Donaldson, the founder of the Elder's Ridge Academy.
Clarence D. Stephenson, Indiana
County, 175th Anniversary History, vols. 3, 4
(Indiana, Pennsylvania: Halldin Publishing, Company, 1979, 1983), 336-38, 103.
Photo and additional information:
courtesy Indiana County Historical Society,
Indiana, Pennsylvania, Elder's Ridge Academy folder