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Saturday, 10/25/2014

Baldwin's History

Baldwin School’s proud tradition of educational service predates Michigan’s statehood in 1837. We have been serving our community for over 170 years!

Some of Michigan’s earliest English speaking pioneers came into Paint Creek’s valley to utilize its waterpower and clear land for farming. These pioneers usually came with extended families. Many were from New England and placed a high value on education. The Baldwin family was one of the groups to settle in Oakland Township. We gained our popular name from that pioneer family which provided a number of our original students. Our official name was Oakland Township School District Number 2.

A more traditional one-room schoolhouse followed a crude log structure located about ¼ mile away from today’s site. Students going on to high school had a choice of Rochester or Lake Orion.

The very earliest forms of "suburban sprawl" started to affect our immediate area in the 1920’s. Interurban railroad (trolley cars) and regular rail lines ran along Paint Creek with their companion, Orion Road. The small community of Goodison was but a brief stop along the way, but the area was growing none the less. In 1926, construction was undertaken on a modern two-room school in Goodison to house Baldwin School. It was a grand day when students occupied the thoroughly up to date schoolhouse made of brick.

The Depression and World War II slowed building growth in our area, but the 1950’s brought more people and a State program to consolidate smaller school districts into larger and more efficient K-12 school districts. Oakland Township School District Number 2 voted to become a part of the larger Rochester School District. But Baldwin School was destined to live on, now a part of Rochester’s respected educational community. The two rooms were expanded to a room for every grade in the 1950’s. The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s all witnessed an addition to the building.

The year 1993 brought a total redesign, remodeling and expansion to the 67,000 square foot building we have today. The remodeling included the addition of a closed circuit TV system, Local Area Computer Network, and an integrated intercom system in each classroom. Once again, Baldwin became a thoroughly modern schoolhouse.