Monadnock Moments No. 55: The School of Joseph

August is the anniversary month of the well known Keene institution, St. Joseph’s Parochial School.  In 1885 the school’s Main Street lot was purchased and construction begun.  The following year the School of St. Joseph as it was originally called opened its doors to about 300 students on August 30, 1886.  The Keene Sentinel reported that six Sisters of Mercy from the Mother House in Manchester would teach the new students.
St. Bernard’s Parish soon acquired the land adjoining the school lot and St. Bernard’s church was built between the school and Main Street.  The new church was dedicated in 1892.
The first School of St. Joseph was used until the late 1920s, when a new, larger school was built further back from Main Street and bordering on Wilson Street.  This new school was constructed in 1929 and was examined by the city government and the Keene board of education at a formal reception on January 4, 1930.  This new parochial school continues today as St. Joseph’s School, continuing a tradition of education for more than 100 year in Keene.