Bates History

Sometime between 1844 and 1850, a school district was organized by a group interested in students.  The school district consisted of a portion of Brownstown Township and Monguagon Township and was named Brownstown School District #10  more commonly referred to as West Road School.  A one room log schoolhouse was built on a half-acre plot on the southeast corner of West Road, where Murray’s Auto Supply is currently located.  Land for this original school was donated by Mr. J.C. Curley.

In 1926, the School Board voted to close West Road School and send the students to the Trenton Public Schools as tuition students from the Brownstown #10 School District.

The West Road School remained the meeting place for the Brownstown #10 School Board of Education.  Eventually the land was returned to the heirs of Mr. Curley.


Raymond Bates
Raymond G. Bates - 1957

In 1951, the portion of Brownstown, which was made up of Monguagon Township, was annexed to the Trenton School District.  The portion of the school district in Brownstown Township (most of which is now the City of Woodhaven) remained the Brownstown #10 School District.

In the mid 1950s, the community felt it was time to once again open their own Brownstown #10 Elementary School, and the voters approved the building of Bates Elementary School.

In September 1957, Bates Elementary School opened serving 114 students.  It had been almost 30 years since the community had their own school building.  Youngsters in seventh grade through high school continued to attend Trenton Schools as tuition students.

The original building consisted of rooms 101, 102, 106, 107, 108, 109, the cafeteria, the art room (which served as the original kindergarten room), and the offices.

In the late 1960s, the Brownstown #10 School District was ordered by the Michigan Courts to join with the Carson School District, the Hand School District, and the Maple Grove School District to form one school district and offer a K-12 educational program.  This was the birth of the Woodhaven School District in 1968.  Woodhaven High School opened its doors in the Fall of 1972, and accepted its first class of ninth graders.

Also in 1971, the Media Center and 10 classrooms around the Media Center were completed, doubling the size of Bates School.

The gym, new windows and air conditioning were added to Bates in 1992.

Bates School was named for Raymond G. Bates.  Mr. Bates was born on January 15, 1886 to Giles and Evelyn Bates in Monguagon Township on Bates Farm on West Road.  Raymond Bates attended the West Road School in 1892, and finished his schooling in Trenton at the “old school” on Fifth Street.  Mr. Bates served as Justice of the Peace for Monguagon Township, Treasurer of Monguagon Township, Councilman for the Village of Trenton, and President of the Village Council.

Mr. Bates photo
Mr. Raymond G. Bates
Laying the cornerstone of Bates School ~ 1957

Mt. & Mrs. Bates photo
Mr. & Mrs. Raymond G. Bates
Cornerstone laying at Bates School ~ 1957

Bates Group photo
Left to right:  Raymond G. Bates, Dr. Caroll Munshaw, Lloyd Calvin, Eugene Demick,
Mrs. John Yake, Conrad Rebandt, Walter Rozycki

Cornerstone laying at Bates School ~ 1957