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Coyville Gym

Coyville Gym

Location Class:
Built: 1935 | Abandoned: ~1970s
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Emily Cowan

Coyville School received $24,249.75 to improve/build new buildings in 1935. This is approximately the time this gym was built, most schools did not receive additional funding for gymnasiums until 1938-39.

Coyville Gym
1962 Coyville Girls Basketball team. L to R Letha Ferguson, Marlene Fitzmorris, Darlene Miller, Carolyn Butler, Sue Ann Spillman, Phyllis North, Cathy Eck.

Coyville had sports common in these country schools such as baseball and basketball that played mostly on a local level. Mike Fitzmorris who was one of the last to attend Coyville said, “Gertrude Thorasell was the teacher of the 1st thru 6th-grade class. Yes, all of us at the same time. I can remember the balcony that ran around 3 sides of the basketball court. Sometimes a fan that might have had a little too much to drink would reach over and knock an opponent’s shot away. Great memories!”

Coyville School District voted 62 to 29 to discontinue the Coyville High School after enrollment had declined meaning state aid would not cover the district anymore.  Students were consolidated into Toronto, Fall River, and Fredonia schools for the 1964 school year. For about a year after the buildings were used as a grade school until that too consolidated. A public auction was held shortly after the school year ended for the selling of the buildings, equipment, and school bus. The buildings were used for community events, suppers, weddings, polling location, and reunions up until about 1970. “Mom and Dad’s wedding reception was held in that gym. I remember being on that upstairs walkway possibly with Joe Croisant. I have a brick from the building out on my back porch,” remembered Alan Reaves.

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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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