Marywood, Evanston, Illinois
2021 Reunion Information
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History of Marywood, Evanston, Ill. (1915-1970)
The Sisters of Providence purchased the school and property – about 10 acres – from the Sisters of the Visitation on June 26, 1915. They planned to keep the name “Visitation Academy,” but the name “Marywood,” was chosen, reflecting its connection with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The building and grounds were improved.
Eight sisters came on Aug. 17, 1915, to prepare for the opening of school. About 40 students arrived on Sept. 8. By the end of the year, the enrollment increased to 70. At first, elementary grades and a commercial course were included.
Resident students were accepted until the end of the 1966-67 school year. In September 1945, it was decided to discontinue kindergarten and first grade because of low enrollment. Discrepancies in the diary make it difficult to determine when some grades closed, but by June 1947, all grade school classes had been discontinued.
An addition, begun in 1924, opened in September 1925. The school flourished for many years. In January 1970, financial problems and decrease in enrollment and religious personnel made it necessary to close Marywood. The last class graduated in June 1970. Some local organizations wished to purchase the property for low cost housing, but inability to get permission for rezoning prevented it. Eventually, the property was sold to the City of Evanston in 1975.
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