The History of Spring Bay High School
Spring Bay (population 436) is located in central Illinois in the lower western portion
of Woodford County. Illinois Route 26 is the main roadway leading you to and from Spring Bay. The Illinois River forms the western boundary
of the town and played a vital role in its early growth. Spring Bay is located about 12 miles northeast of Peoria.
According to a book titled "The Past and Present of Woodford County. Illinois", Spring Bay was platted
in 1838. A post office was established there in 1844. Spring Bay became a grain shipping port and a very vibrant town. At
one time, early in its history, Spring Bay was home to three hotels. The invention of the train would eventually be the down
fall of Spring Bay. As railroad lines came to pass through Peoria and other nearby towns, Spring Bay became less of an
importance for shipping. Spring Bay continues to be a pleasant town with businesses going strong in the present day.
A book titled "The Woodford County History (1968)" reads that Spring Bay High School District
119 was established in 1915. At this time two years of high school courses were taught. In 1918 the grade school
building where high school courses were taught was burned down. For a year or two high school courses were discontinued while
a new building was built. Once built, the new building agained housed a two-year high school until 1937. In that
year, once again a new school building was constructed in Spring Bay. The new building allowed for a four year high school
course of study. This arrangement continued until 1951 when the state of Illinois forced the closure of the high school.
Upon closure, the high school-aged kids of Spring Bay were bussed to nearby Metamora High School. The
fate of the school building that once housed Spring Bay High School is a good one. The former high school building how
houses a food pantry for a local church. The high school building is pictured above, with the church building sittng directly
behind it. Photos of the basement, which once housed a classroom and possibly a lunch room, are available below. Thank you
to Roberta Van Briesen for submitting these photos!