Purdys CentralHigh Masthead

Township of North Salem Central High School, Purdys, NY

The Township of North Salem Central High School, on old Route 22, Purdys, North Salem Township, Westchester County, NY, was built in 1927-1928.  It came to be commonly known as Purdys Central High School because of its location, and possibly due to the lack of a strong identifying name.

Purdys Central High Architect Drawing

Architectural drawing of North Salem’s Central Rural School District #1 high school, created by Knapp & Morris Architects, 171 Madison Ave, NYC prior to its construction beginning 1927. “North Salem Central High School” became popularly called “Purdys Central High School” in later years. Original drawing owned by Cynthia Curtis of North Salem, NY. Digital image submitted by Cynthia in Nov. 2015.

The cornerstone was laid in 1927.  Middle school and beginning high school students first occupied the building during the 1928-1929 school year.  The first senior class graduated in June, 1930. While lower grades were always in this building, use as a high school ended in the winter of 1962-1963. The Class of 1962 was the last senior class to graduate Purdys Central High.

After 1962, classes completed their high school education in the new North Salem High School which replaced Purdys Central in the winter of 1962-1963. Consequently, members of North Salem graduating Classes of 1963-1968 divided their time between Purdys Central and the new North Salem High School. Some more than others: the North Salem Class of 1963 were at Purdys from 7th grade to halfway through their senior year, whereas the Class of 1968 spent about half a year at Purdys Central High.

Lower grades continued to occupy the building until it was sold in 1982 to become the Westchester Exceptional Children School which was still in operation as of this writing in 2014*.

This web site is dedicated to all the students, faculty, friends and residents of North Salem Township who walked the hallways of Purdys Central, sang its praises and who live in the memory of what possibly could have been the best period of our lives.

The menus & links above, below and elsewhere in this web site will take you to a host of web pages, containing memories both old and new (e.g. reunions) - many submitted by classmates and friends.  In graduating class specific sections, you will find yearbooks and other class memorabilia, pictures, news articles, etc. Enjoy the nostalgia trip!  Please send in your memories and don't forget to sign the guestbook!

* See the "Landmark" section of the "Of-Interest" menu item above for more on the sale of the school, and its recognition as a Town of North Salem historical landmark.

Purdys Central High 1962



Search for "Purdys Central High School" on www.youtube.com for more videos.

AND... please share your pictures & stories by selecting the CONTACT menu item on any web page.


A little school reunion humor by Jo David Stockwell (in part) period I'll never forget the first school reunion period We tried so hard to impress period We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars, and wore our most elegant dress period Blue smiley It was quite an affair; the whole class was there period It was held at a fancy hotel period We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined, and everyone thought it was swell period At our next get-together, no one cared whether they impressed their classmates or not period The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal; by this time we'd all gone to pot period By the fortieth year, it was abundantly clear, we were definitely over the hill period Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed, and be home in time for their pill period And now I can't wait -- they've set the date, our fiftieth is coming, I'm told period It should be a ball, they've rented a hall at the Shady Rest Home for the old.


"One More Day - Central Remembers"

finger button On Friday, October 11, 2013, at the old Purdys Central School located on Route 22, Purdys, NY, the Bob Field '63 produced, written and narrated film "One More Day: Central Remembers" had its premiere at the old high school auditorium.

One More Day - Central Remembers Video, Purdys Central High School

An estimated 150-180 people from North Salem and alumni from both Purdys Central High and North Salem High schools attended the two showings at 6:30pm and 7:30pm.   Great applause and appreciation was expressed by the audience, with kudos to both "masters of ceremony": Bob Field '63 and Purdy Outhouse '59.  Purdy was a co-producer and a force behind locating people that were interviewed on-camera.  Although not present at the premiere due to previous commitments, kudos must be given to Ned Juengst '60 who originated the idea of a video at the 2012 reunion as noted in the North Salem Voice article of Feb. 2013... a video to capture some of the spirit of the 1940s and 1950s that lives on in the alumni of Purdys Central High and the residents of North Salem.  Click here to see the event photos AND THE VIDEO.

Purdys Central High Baseball Champs 1962

"One More Day…”?
How 'Bout Just One More Game!

Recalling Purdy Central High’s NCAA “Almost’er!”

Seeing Bob Field’s ('63) classic jacket (at the "One More Day..." Video Premiere on Oct. 11, 2013) with its “UWPL Champs 1962” baseball patch, recalls one of the great “what ifs” in Central sports lore.

Seems that in June, 1966, the Colby College Mules, with Bob playing second base, were ranked # 1 in the Northeast, locked in regional play at Fenway Park, and just one game away from going to the College World Series in Omaha.  Meanwhile, Mid-South power West Virginia, with Bob Tompkins '64 catching, were also one game away from heading to Omaha.  And, get this…the Midwest juggernaut U of Michigan, with Larry Guidi '64 pitching lights-out ball, were also a win away from “The Big Show” in Nebraska!

bob field 63

One guess what happened.  Yep, all three teams were upended in their respective NCAA Regional championship games!

Now, just think “what if?”  Had the Mules, Mountaineers and Wolverines each won their regionals, three dudes from little old Central’s championship days would have met again on the sun-drenched diamond of venerable Rosenblatt Stadium in Cornhusker territory.  Now, there’s an “almost’er” for yuh! And, those oldie-goldie Central memories just keep comin’.  Send us some of yours!

“Baseball is a soap opera that lends itself to probabilistic thinking. [Dick Cramer]” ― Michael Lewis, Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


Do you want to be notified of the next class reunion? Or, are you a Purdys Central or North Salem High graduate, a North Salem resident, or someone who is just interested in being notified of significant future alumni events? Then let us know how to reach you. You can REGISTER here or select the REGISTER menu item above to learn more. Rest assured we will never, ever share your information. And, we will rarely send you an email.

Purdys Central High and North Salem High

An homage to Purdys Central High, from the North Salem High Class of 1963 that transferred from Purdys in the winter of 1962-1963:

"We, the Class of 1963, dedicate this (year)book to the memory of Purdys Central High School and all that it has meant to us.

The past four years have been highlighted by cross country, hockey, Christmas concerts, basketball, cheerleading, spring concerts, student council elections, jazz concerts, and baseball, to mention only a few of the many activities which have been important to us. As a class, we were initiated in true form when we began our freshman year and since then we have been responsible for two Halloween hops, a Christmas semi-formal, the changing of the school rings, two card parties, a turn-about show for this year's freshmen, and this, our yearbook. As part of the student body, we recall the pride we felt as we contributed toward the winning of two sportsmanship awards and three baseball championships under the banner of Purdys Central High School.

Now, as the first graduating class of North Salem High School, we realize the importance of the new school to the students and to the community. In name, Purdys Central High School is gone, but let us never forget the pride, spirit, honor, and sportsmanship that Purdys students, now North Salem students, carry with them."

purdys central high tigers baseball

oliver milton 1962 A sports memorabilia section in this web site was created in July, 2013 - motivated by and thanks to Oliver "Ollie" Milton '62, who located and contributed many news articles covering basketball and the Purdys Central High School varsity baseball team: the Upper Westchester - Putnam County League (UW-PL) CHAMPIONS of 1961-1962.  And, talk about a "1-2 punch"... A few months later larry guidi 1964 Purdys Central High Tigers Ilario "Larry" Guidi '64 came up with over 100 more articles covering 1962-1964 boys sports - including the UW-PL basketball team Co-CHAMPIONS of 1963-1964!   See what we have so far.

Champion 1942-1943 Football Team!
Click Picture for More

Purdys Central High Football 1942-43 Champions

Andy Ponzini Barry Lewis, Pier Peter Guidi

"Who would have dreamed that 44 years later, our cross-country trip in the summer of 1962 would loom large in my heart and mind? ... Maybe because it was a time when we had no cares in the world - the kind of freedom that I for one have never felt since." What's this about?  Click each of the the pictures in turn for more...

Purdys Central High Student Council, 1960-1961

Purdys central High Student Council 1960-61
chris manning o'shaunnessy oshaunnessy

"My Hometown" by Chris (Manning) O'Shaunnessy

Music & video inspired by our town, North Salem!

You may have to click/tap screen to view controls (play, pause, etc.)

See related news article in township newspaper.  This video is also available on www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTcNf6wunIY.  And... for other school related videos, go to www.youtube.com and search for "Purdys Central High".

by Jean Doyle, Purdys
Published in area newspaper January 21, 1962

To market, to market, to buy us some bread;
    Home again, home again, try it with dread!
On Route Twenty-two, going by Central High,
    Head up to Croton, and you'll nearly die.
A ride in the country? It's, more like a shot
    Straight to the moon! - for a road there is not!
It seems like a road - then it fast disappears:
    One lane of holes and one bordered by spears,
Or "fencing", they call it, with smudges of red.
    One inch too close and you may wind up dead!
The chasm behind it can swallow a bus!
    (Pray hard tonight that it won't come to us).
To schoolroom, to schoolroom, the children do trust
    Drivers so careful, as slowly they must
Attempt "Twenty-two" over bumpety-bumps!
    Lucky the ones who get no sudden lumps!
Are signposts outmoded to warn of the plight?
    Really, how clearly is it marked at night?
There's no barricade that will hold us away -
    Hold us from turning in dark down the quay!
"It's up to the leaders to make our world safe."
    (Which of the Ieaders in town will not chafe?
At asking the workers to get a head start
    Beating the snows, so, we'll have peace of heart?)
The School Board was worried and tried oft' so far,
    Meeting on "safety" with whoever are
Charged with the "State” or the "Company’s” rules:
    “Keep the way open!" But where are the tools?
The people all mumble that "someone's to blame -
    Danger on ‘twenty-two’ is such a shame.'"
Damnation and thunder - now, who'll Mt the ruts?
    Who has the brains. – better, who has the guts?
Purdys Central High Pin