Welcome to the
Ryal Side Elementary School Website
As BHS '60 Passed Through 1948 - 1954

(Became Winifred P. Upton School After Our Principal Ms. Upton Retired)

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Last Photo Update This Column October 3, 2006 - Much improved combined 1st grades picture, now numbered for easier identification
Photo Courtesy of Rita (Santin) Colin
HINT: to take full advantage of the huge image you will see when you click on the first two photos, and the last one below, be sure in your browser's advanced Internet Options, the Multimedia Option "Enable Automatic Image Resizing" is NOT checked (may not apply to older browsers). If done right just a small portion of the image will fill your screen, for a closeup look.

Immanuel Congregational Church
Boy Scout Troop 6 - Courtesy of
Charlie (Fred) Gabriel

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Brownies cir. 1950-51
Courtesy of Sandra (Toneatti) MacKay

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l. Dottie Lowe (2nd grade)
m. Owen W. Lowe
r. William F. Nisbet

Back Row:
Owen Lowe, Phil Carleton,
John Longval, Roy Husson, Dick Chase.

Front Row: Susan Allison, Patricia
Johnson, Gracie Gardner, Rita Santin,
Paul Genest, Dottie Lowe.

Bill Nisbet (kneeling)

Combined First Grades Photo - 1948
Courtesy of
Rita (Santin) Colin

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When you click on photo
you will be brought to
a numbered version for
easier identification.

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 Return to the Official BHS Class of 1960 Site

 Really Nice First Grade Photo w/Captions
 Our Teachers & Instructors

 Introduction / Overview
 Notices / Announcements
 Question(s) du Decade
 Comments, Stories & Information From Classmates <== 10/01/15

Introduction / Overview

OK, here goes. This page is a work in progress, and is meant for those members of the Beverly High School Class of 1960 that attended Ryal Side Elementary School. As BHS '60 passed through Ryal Side School the following appears to be true.

There were two classes. The first and second grades were in the new addition on the east side of the school. There were two classrooms per floor, the first grade was on the first and the second grade was on the second floor. The basement was a (play area, gym?) that we used on rainy days for recess.

Grades three through six were in the main building. The auditorium main entrance was opposite the main front door. Our two classes were combined into one large class for the (fifth?) grade and classes were held in the auditorium. This was required as two classrooms were being remodeled. Does anyone recall the duration of time for this?

The original principal's name was Miss. Upton. The school was named after her sometime after she retired. The replacement principal's name was Mr. Battis.

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Notices / Announcements

Sad news: Louis P. Walor has passed away. I'm sure many of you remember Davidson and Walor market on the corner of Livingston and Bridge Streets. Louis went on to open the IGA in the center of South Hamilton in the plaza next to the railroad station, which is now one of the Crosby's chain. Incidentally, Davidson & Walor Market is referred to as Walor's Market in the clipping immediately below.

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from Bill Nisbet, 02/14/09


Here is a newspaper clipping describing a nostalgia tour of the old Ryal Side. This was given to me by Nancy (Craig) Boucher just before she left Massachusetts, just a few years ago. Name of publication and date are unknown. I believe this was quite awhile ago, though, as the clipping is somewhat yellow and aged, despite being in an improvised folder and therefore somewhat protected.

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from Bill Nisbet, 12/29/08


On October 3, 2006 Today I published a numbered version of that great combined 1st grades picture, to make identification easier. This photo and the developing caption is now on a new page.

from Bill Nisbet, 10/01/06


On October 1, 2006 I finally published a much improved combined 1st grades picture to replace the one that has been on this page almost since day one. Both are courtesy of Rita (Santin) Colin. [See last photo in the column (table) on the right side of this page. Coming Soon is a numbered version for easier identification of our classmates. There will be a number for each classmate on a separate page, with the captions updated with everyone's best guess.

from Bill Nisbet, 10/01/06


Most of you will recall that Chester H. Battis took over as principal when Miss. Upton retired. Shortly after that, the Ryal Side Elementary School became the Upton Elementary School.

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from Bill Nisbet, 08/20/06

Several of us have been working quite hard to identify all of the Ryan Side Brownies in the photo, second one from the top on the right side of this page. There is still a question about a couple of names, and the girl in the first row, far left has yet to be identified.

Many thanks to Nancy (Craig) Boucher, Sandra (Toneatti) MacKay, Barbie (Burns) French, Donna Lowe, and several others who, at the least, answered a specific question about one or more kids.

from Bill Nisbet, 01/14/03

If you want to make comments or respond to other's comments, simply send an email message to the Webmaster by clicking on "Webmaster" at the bottom of this page. That should bring up your email program with the address filled in. If not, simply send a message to WFNisbet@yahoo.com - same thing.

If you have ideas or comments on the design and/or layout of this page, please share your thoughts with the Webmaster. This page is being "winged" at this time - there is no overall plan right now.

from Bill Nisbet, 12/29/02

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Question(s) du Jour

07/30/02 - Was there really a Miss Larivee and a Miss Larabee at Ryal Side? Was Miss Larribee the year-long substitute teacher that Dick Chase mentions below? Perhaps she was the teacher that was substituted for?

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Comments, Stories & Information From Classmates

My Great-Aunt Freda (known to you as Principal Winifred P Upton)

I was ... browsing through your website because someone put on FB an old family picture which included my great Aunt Freda ( known to you as Principal Winifred P Upton), my grandmother's sister. My grandmother had a flower shop - Crombie's Beverly Flower Shop at 298 Cabot Street for about half a century. We kids went to Hardy (when we lived on Lothrop Street) and Washington Schools (when we lived on Cabot Street). I remember her retirement ceremony which was based on the popular 50's TV show, "This Is Your Life." My brother and sister and I were supposed to shout from backstage, "We're here, too, auntie!" But my sister and brother chickened out and only my lone voice yelled it out, much to my embarrassment and the audience's delight. She was quite a memorable character. I can definitely can see her knocking on the windows at school to keep the kids in line! I remember going to her house every Thursday one year for math tutoring which was a bit intimidating. Every Xmas night we went to her house and always received the same 2 presents: 2 pairs of pajamas and a dictionary! We had dictionaries all over the house!! Who knows...maybe that is why I later became a high school English teacher! The family story of her birth is that when she was born she only weighed 2 pounds and was put is a bureau draw near a wood stove til she grew. She always remained tiny but she was a force to be reckoned with! She always reminded me ( physically and personality) of Eleanor Roosevelt.

I have lived outside the state since my own retirement but my brother and his daughters with their kids still live in Beverly, one I think just down the street from the school.

Nice to know she is remembered!

from Cynthia Ann Barry, BHS class of 1964, 11/01/15


My thoughts are on just how certain things trigger old memories. For example if you mention Parker Davis, every one who lived in northern Ryal Side automatically remembers playing football and baseball in his pasture, Cowboys and Indians in his woods, and raiding his chicken coops and fruit trees. That, plus the fact that he was once the mayor of Beverly.
Virginia Avenue Virginia Avenue, Ryal Side, early spring 1952. Standing left to right: Walter Elwell, Herman Lemp, Franklin Elwell. Kneeling: Victor Bernson with Blacky, Noel Lemp.

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from Herman Lemp, 03/05/09


Alan Barbo called me and told me about the BHS website and the Ryal Side school page. I went right to it and spent many happy moments reminiscing and remembering people I haven't thought of in many years.

Yes, I can remember Miss Peabody reading us stories. One story about a wagon train going across the plains started out (Tisha Tisha Went the Grass.) I looked over at Kenney Lusier and he looked at me and it was down hill after that. The harder we tried not to laugh the more we did. It finely got us a trip to the office and we never did hear the end of the story.

As for the picture of the 1st grade I think I'm the boy standing to the left of Miss Clark, number 30 in the caption.

I can remember Frank Hilton (The Hayride Guy) using his horses to plow my grandfathers garden over on Garfield Avenue.

Miss Upton was the Principal of Ryal Side Elementary when my Father went there.

To answer Bill Nisbet (a bit late), after graduation I spent 20 years in the Navy, got married, had 2 boys Todd and Trever, and I am now living in Center Harbor, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee.

from Wayne MacDonald, 01/03/09


This photo was taken at the old Ryal Side School in 1948 in first grade, when Miss Upton was principal. [...] The hairdo was one of my grandma Glady's too-tight perms done in her shop. [on Winthrop Avenue]

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from Beverly (Knowlton) Fournier, 07/31/07


Re the September entry, that would be Frank Hilton who drove the hay rides. Not a farmer per se, but plowed a lot of the local fields with his team of horses (Charlie and Dolly) in the spring when they were still there and being planted, and raked hay in the fall. We still had seven grades there - two of each - when I went through (I'm Class of '58), and "Upty" was still in charge.

Jeff Wignall, '58, 11/02/06


I just found this site and it brought back a flood of warm memories. First I would like to add some teachers. 5th grade Miss Smitty got sick and was replaced with Miss Shirley Marchalonis. Miss Johnson came in for music and in the 6th grade Miss Perley from Boxford. Victor Farrington, Gino Romani, Bob cloutier, Ron Rocovitch, and myself road our bikes to her farm the summer after the 6th grade. Found memories of Wayne Main, Ronald Simmons, Dicky Madore, Jerry Morse, Jane Standley, and don't forget Frank Campbell the farmer guy off Northen Ave who gave the hay rides.

I'm BHS "61" grad and went to Ryal Side 1-6 starting in 1949 I grew up on Hillcrest Avenue and have lots of memories to share. Remember Auntie Abbot from Obear Park? How about Esther Grimes? Wasn't Luther Griffin our janitor? I'll keep watching this site from now on.

Regarding the unknown girl in he left front of the brownie picture, I think she is Jane Standley. Also the boy named Ricky Smart in the cub scout picture reminds me of Ricky Hopkins. Can anyone out there verify these suggestions? Who remembers Auntie Abbot from Obear Park or tanning on the flat rock outside the bathhouse?

Pete Neve, '61, 09/12/06


[I am] very pleased to discover [this] website with my first grade class photo at Ryal Side School. I attended Beverly schools up to 8th grade, then moved to Salem. I graduated from Salem High School. My family lived in Ryal Side between 1947 and 1951. I attended the Edwards School, the Washington - Beadle school, Memorial Jr. High the year it opened, Briscoe Jr. High, then moved to Salem. I had forgotten many of my teacher's names, so thanks(!) to those who contributed that information.

...I am in the 1st grade Ryal Side picture between the two boys up front in striped shirts and am wearing a jumper and white blouse, have a big round, pie shaped face like a stop sign. I think this was the classroom I was in too, because of where the door and blackboard are situated. I remember the cookbook. I had to bring in an apple pie recipe. Miss. Upton's 1st name was Winifred. She was only 22 years old when she became principal. I remember Grace Cloyd and Sandra Ball, two real good kids. I was in 2nd grade when we moved & went to Washington School after that. We moved just about a month or so before school got out for the summer. Our Grandma, Gladys Knowlton, had a hair salon in her and my grandpa's home on Winthrop Ave. Most of my school photos were lost, so it was a treat to see my first grade class, and I printed it out to show my kids and grandkids. [...] Although I only live in Salem, still, Beverly, Mass. remains a nostalgic place to me. It's a great place! You may post this information on the Ryal Side site if you want to. I also remember the big box of valentines we all contributed to, and I once made a miniature "park" in a box, from moss for lawn, tiny real trees, teeny pebbles etc. The teacher put it on display & all these years later I still make mini scenes/ doll houses etc. and win ribbons at Topsfield Fair. Just haven't grown up yet I guess.

Someone had written that she or he didn't remember reading groups in 2nd grade. I remember them, and that we used the Dick, Jane, Baby Sally, Spot, Puff books. Even at that tender age I thought that the story lines left something to be desired. I used to walk Sandra Ball to her home and continue on my way. She lived close to school, and I had to walk quite aways.

Beverly A. (Knowlton) Fournier, 02/14/05


Great page and memories. Haven't heard the term "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk" in 40+ years! Does anyone remember collecting orange crates and making chairs for a reading corner in Miss Goldsmith's (I think) class? We painted them bright colors. Also, an April 1 "joke" in Miss Erskine's class where we all knocked our rulers off our desks at the same time? She was slightly amused. What a wild group we were. Music teacher-Miss Johnson? and The Fisherman of Gloucester. Don't know where these thoughts came from since I can't remember what I had for breakfast!

from Betsy (Philpot) Walke, 03/13/03


Additions to the teachers' list:

Miss Johnson was the music teacher.

Mrs. Curtis had a second grade class in addition to Miss Rand and Miss Fitz. And Miss Andre had a combination fifth and sixth grade class in the auditorium when Class of 60 grads would have been sixth graders.

I recall how much I, too, enjoyed Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, although I wouldn't have recalled it was Miss Peabody reading to us as fifth graders!

Recently I came across a collection of valentines (either from second or third grade) that were in a small brown paper bag decorated to be a mailbox and I think taped to my desk or chair in school. Does anyone remember the cookbook we made at Christmas time (first or second grade) where we all brought in recipes and whoever the teacher was typed them on mimeo stencils and ran them off? Believe it or not, I still have mine.

And, what year was it that our teacher poured white plaster of paris in a heavy cardboard paper plate for each of us, and then we each put our small hand into the wet plaster to make a handprint. When it was dried, we each painted our hand and the rim of the paper plate in gold, had two holes punched in the rim for a scarlet ribbon to hang it from? Funny, I just came across mine after 50+ years and two weeks ago had it mounted.

I really would like to know what grade that was. Second grade and Miss Rand?

from Sandra (Toneatti) MacKay, 12/27/02

Does anyone recall the incident of playing with raw mercury in the classroom? I think it was Miss Goldsmith's 3rd grade class. It was fascinating, at least to me, the thought that a metal could act like a liquid at room temperature. I have this image burned into my brain of a kid in the very front left side of the class playing with a small spilled amount of mercury on the floor. Some of it had separated into little droplets, but most was in a teaspoon sized puddle. I can remember that fine dust, that was always all over the floors except those times when they put down linseed oil, had noticeably coated the larger globule...the dull mercury, now even duller, with the addition of that floor dirt native to the old section of the school.

There was more to the incident, but I am a little hazy on details. Perhaps more will come to mind later. I recall the next day we wanted to see the mercury again, but it had been taken away. I guess the teacher finally learned it is a deadly poison. I think one kid either got sick or at least had to go to the doctor over this incident. It was hushed up...we didn't get the straight details.

Between episodes like that; the sanding of the lead paint when they were refurbishing a couple of classrooms; and all the lard, red meat, pork, fat, gravy, and salt pork we ate, it is a real wonder we lived to graduate from elementary school at all.

from Bill Nisbet, 09/02/02

Do you remember Valentine's Day with the big box filled with valentine cards and you got one from everybody except the girl you were madly in love with or the first girl you thought you were madly in love with? It seemed to change over the years! I never got it right.

I remember that Miss Erskine (6th grade) had a boy friend, a Mr. Stanley (?)' I'm not sure that he was in the Ryal Side system but some of us did go to Boston on a weekend field trip with them.

How about the new principle that replaced Miss. Upton, It was Barrett or something like that, a real tough cookie, but then, Ryal Side was considered to be one of the rougher schools in the Beverly System. This I learned later on.

I ran into John (Jack) Tolvanen about five years ago on a kayaking trip through the Maine Islands. We were together for four days before we realized who was who. Everyone was using first names so it did not register right away. He was fine, traveling around a bit after visiting his mother in Beverly. He was living in San Jose, CA.

Whatever happened to Lenny Katcharian, Wayne MacDonald, Johnny Longval, Charlie Piper to name a few. The girls seemed to have faired better. I do not remember any that were not pretty good students.

And how about the Pledge of Allegiance and a reading from the Bible every morning. Somehow I do not think anyone suffered from that.

from John Hadley, 09/01/02

I remember the Valentine's Day cards. It really was a big deal in those days. My mother always made me give ones to everyone in the class, because some kids didn't get many. In that respect, the practice was actually quite cruel, if one thinks about it for a moment.

Lenny Katchitorian (I think that spelling is a little closer but I'm not sure)...gee, I haven't thought about him for fifty years. I think he lived up on Sunset Drive. Johnny Longval is still living in Beverly not too far away from his original house. Charlie Piper and I have hung around together, off and on, for many years. He was, in absolute fact, the last union employee of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation, down from 3,500 at peak employment.

According to Nancy (Craig) Boucher, the new principal's name was Mr. Battis. I think we boys occasionally called him Mr. Bastard. (Bill Nisbet)

I looked at the Ryal Side page. Interesting. Just so you know, the school went up through 7th grade until the "new" junior high was built. My class was the last one to attend 7th grade at Ryal Side. I spent 8th and 9th grades at Memorial.

from Dorothy (Lowe) Cleveland, BHS '59, 08/22/02

I think the sub teacher for the 5th grade was Mrs. Bijorn ..she had red hair and nice but, had a reputation of being strict........does this name mean anything to you?

from Nancy (Craig) Boucher

Was just reading the Ryal Side page, wish I had some more pictures to add but don't think so. I think another of the grammar school teachers was a Miss Larrivee. She was either a 4th or 5th grade teacher. Do you remember Miss Larrabee shaking those naughty little boys in our class? She sure scared me. She'd shake them and their heads would be bouncing against the blackboard. I really behaved in her class. I ran into Victor Bernson the other day, hadn't seen him for at least 25 years and still recognized him. Was good to see him. Another "Ryal Sider", as you know.

from Vivian Bartley Fumarola, 07/30/02

You are the first to mention a Miss Larrivee but that does sound familiar. Do you think we really did have two teachers with almost the same last name? Perhaps someone will set us straight here. On this page you will notice that Dick Chase mentions a year-long substitute for his fifth grade. You will see that I don't have a teacher name in that slot in the table at the bottom, either. Perhaps you have provided it for us. (Bill Nisbet)
You did a great job with the Ryal Side site. It amazes me how much you and John Hadley remember about our earliest years. I don't remember reading groups in second grade, I don't remember Ms. Peabody reading to us every day in 5th grade ......sometimes I wonder if I was conscious during various periods of my life. I do remember Miss Upton rapping on the window when some one, usually a boy, was acting out on the playground. I thank you for using your talent to establish a monument to memories.

from Gail (Seery) Weyant, 07/29/02

If this is how you get on the Ryal Side Elementary School site, here goes...... One day in Miss Rand's class we were seated in the reading section with the two rows of wooden chairs. I was seated behind Susan Allison and she was standing and reading, so I gently pulled her chair back knowing full well what would happen! She finished her reading and trustfully went to sit down... right on her pratt on the floor. The most amazing thing is that Miss Rand never noticed either. I thought for sure I was a goner!!! My apologies to Susan!

Do you remember "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk", a nonsensical phrase that was uttered when you found the little metal (?) football that was hidden in the classroom? Do you remember Miss Upton [Principal] rapping on the glass windows of her office when she spotted a playground offender, usually it was Vernon Ploof's brother or Ralph Conrad. They were bad even by today's standards.

How about recess and the cookies and milk subscription? I remember the custodian sitting behind the table in the basement handing out your cookie. I wonder if he washed his hands? I'll think of some more anecdotes later.

from John Hadley, 07/28/02

I really enjoyed seeing that picture. It is a little dark and I couldn't make out too many. The ones I think I am identifying is a follows: [John] Woods lower left corner first row; Nancy Craig fourth row left side and in back of her is myself; to the left of the boy center front or over his right shoulder is Carol Thibideau; Rita Santin is second row middle. I am sorry to say I do not have any photos for that era. I did at one time but with moving from my parents house to here and after they passed away may things just got tossed without looking. I hope this was some help. See you soon.

from Helen (Faulkner) Fraser

Nancy (Craig) Boucher Photo
Click Picture to Enlarge
b. Rickard LeBlanc, Richard Murphey,
Robert Dennis, Stuart Allen, Lee Craig
f. Peter L'Italien, Ronald McKensey(sp?)
Jimmy Robichau
I had Miss Hanlon...1st grade, Miss Rand...2nd grade, Miss Goldsmith...3rd grade. I had Miss Larabee...4th grade (made candy for Christmas).

I had Miss Peabody...5th grade. I got in trouble for going out onto the balcony and trying what we thought was a great surprise for our teacher...the balcony had been condemned for use...she did not appreciate our gesture. I have great memories of her reading to us. First was Stuart Little by E. B. Wright. She read 10 to 15 minutes a day and how we loved it!! The next book she read was by the same author - Charlotte's Web. It is a treasure in my life still. My grandfather gave me the books for my 10th birthday. I have since given each of the books to grandsons.

I had Miss Erskine for 6th grade. I walked to her house [on] Salem Common...Easter Day with John Longval, Betsy Philpot, Judy Hazel, Daisy Dodge. We had a great time ...walked home too. Would I walk that far today???? No Way!

from Nancy (Craig) Boucher

Thanks for the first grade picture from Ryal Side School that you sent earlier. I thought I recognized one or two kids, but it was more difficult than I thought it should be. One reason may be that I think there are two classes combined in the photo. I was in Mrs. Clark's class. I can't remember the other teacher's name, though. Both classes were in the new section of the school, if I recall correctly. There were two first and two second grades, I think. While I was reminiscing, I tried reconstructing the names of teachers I had. If it is of any use to you, here they are:

First grade Mrs. Clark
Second grade Miss Fitz
Third grade Miss Raymond
Forth grade Miss Lowry
Fifth grade A year-long substitute whose name I can't recall, but who brought her son Mark to class fairly often
Sixth grade Miss Tilton

from Richard Chase

Grammar school teachers by grade, starting with 1: Miss Hanlon, Miss Rand ..., Miss Goldsmith, Miss Larabee (there was also a Miss Laurie ...), Miss Peabody, Miss Erskine. I do remember Miss Fish but I don't remember Dorothy Darling.

from Gail (Seery) Weyant

Dorothy Darling - dance teacher
Miss Fish - art teacher (remember all the ink blotters we made)
Miss Adams - handwriting teacher

Helen Faulkner got all the BIG stars on her certificate and she deserved them cause she really could write neat. (I'm still jealous) I remember the strap and the cootie checks. I remember ducking under our desks just in case we got bombed. Wonder what those desks were made out of that would have protected us from an A bomb hmmmm It is really funny thinking of the WONDER YEARS. I wonder how we did it????

from Janice (Tilson) Thomas

Here is another copy of 1st Grade Class, maybe you can clean it up. It's all first graders on first day, so many they split the group into 2 classes. The photo was one the newspaper gave to my mother, made the front page I guess. I can't remember my 1st grade teacher's name, she was married and left to have a baby before the term was over, then we had a substitute. 2nd grade was Miss Fitz, I do remember her.

from Rita (Santin) Colin


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