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Warren High School book will be published this fall

I’ve gone back to school recently. Warren High School to be specific. I am working on a book to be published this fall on the history of Warren High School and it was time to capture some photos of the 60-year-old building before it is gone. It will be gone by late June, replaced by a wonderful new structure under construction just south of the sprawling series of buildings that sit on a hilltop in Barlow.

Some of the classrooms have started to fill with boxes as teachers prepare for the move. The boxes will be loaded on pallets and be moved to the end building containing the gymnasium and auditorium. That building will be part of the new Warren and will serve as a storage area for items that are being transferred to the new school.

Photographing Warren is interesting. Visually the school is dominated by windowed passageways between the different structures. A photo of one of them can be seen on Page 2 today. The photo was shot near sunrise as students headed to building 1, which will also be repurposed and used as part of the new school project.

The book, “Warren Warriors” will be finished as soon as the new school opens and will be delivered in late September. People will be able to pre-order them soon.

I feel lucky that I have gotten to do books for the newspapers. They combine history and photography, both things I am passionate about. They have all been a joy to do. The Warren book will be the tenth book that I have been a part of. This will be the fourth book on area high schools that we have done in the past few years.

The first high school book was on Parkersburg High School. Marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Dudley Avenue building, the project set a template for the other high school books that followed. In each case the projects have started the same — looking at yearbooks, a lot of yearbooks. All the yearbooks in fact. So far, I have looked at every page of every yearbook published by Parkersburg High, Parkersburg South, Marietta High School and Warren High School. Likely around 350 yearbooks in total. Photos that provide historical context are scanned, as are the senior class photos of people who went on to do exceptional things in the community and their lives. Published articles about the schools are reviewed and sometimes reprinted in the book. Each book also contains articles recapping different aspects of the school. In short, we pull in as many resources as possible.

In each case, I have also visited each school to document what the schools look like today. In the case of Marietta, it was a little surreal, since in the late 1970s I attended the school as a student. As a member of the yearbook staff, I also walked the halls of the school taking photos of the school. The school for the most part looks the same. Of course every face there has changed. I made sure when designing “Marietta Tigers: A Pictorial History of Marietta High School” that a photo from the 1979 crew team I was part of was published. The photo appears on page 64 and is the only photo in any of the books that I am actually in.

We have also completed several history books on the area. “Remembering Washington County” and “Remembering Wood County” were originally published The Parkersburg News, the reworked versions added dozens of photos to the earlier books, and both received an updated design.

We have also published two additional books on Marietta. “Picturesque Past” and “Around Town” contained hundreds of photos. Both books sold out within months of being published. You know you are getting old when photos you have taken appear in books that can best be categorized as “history books.”

Books we have available can be ordered by clicking on the link on our website. We have been offering free shipping on them because of the pandemic and will continue to do so.

Warren High School is the first new high school to be built in Washington County in ages. As a local organization we are thrilled to be able to publish a book celebrating the legacy of the school. We hope the public enjoys the hundreds of photos it will contain showcasing the students that have walked the halls for the last six decades.

Art Smith is the Online Manager for The Marietta Times and The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Books are published jointly by both newspapers. Smith can be contacted at

asmith@mariettatimes.com.

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