“The Polaris,” “The Memory Book,”
or Maybe Even “The Piniator,” or “The Beacon”
Most of us think of the Polaris as a newspaper and Memory Book as our yearbook filled with senior pictures and photos of activities. That was not always the case.
There was no publication at all until 1900. Although no other school in Columbus had a publication, schools in a few other cities began to publish booklets. In 1898 North (the school of firsts) began planning for a publication that they named “The Polaris” after the North Star. Such a huge undertaking took a tremendous amount of work and it wasn’t until May of 1900 that the first issue was in the hands of the students, (We are fortunate to have a copy in our collection.) It was a small, 22 page booklet edited by Walter Derby, that contained two photos. One was of the school and accompanied an article entitled “A Short History of North High School.” The other one accompanied a biography of North’s first principal, C. D. Everett. Publication was suspended in 1901/02 and 1902/03. In the fall of 1903, Dillman McGaughy, “set forth the movement to revived the publication.” It wasn’t until March of 1904 that the next booklet was issued. In 1905, a special enlarged issue was dedicated to commencement. It was the pride of the journalism class and even contained a photo of the senior class. It wasn’t until 1911 that individual photos of the seniors were printed. The first newspaper, “The Piniator,” made its appearance on April 12 1911. It was published for only a year or two. In 1914 another newspaper “The Beacon” made its appearance. We don’t know how long it was published.
On February 7, 1919 the “Polaris” became a newspaper. The yearbook became “The Polaris Annual.” In 1925, the first year on Arcadia Avenue, “The Polaris Annual” had a major change, it was issued with a hard cover.
During the Depression in 1930, Mr. Everett and several other Columbus principals decided that money could be spent in better ways and there were no yearbooks. Students were not happy! The next two years there were yearbooks with soft covers. In 1933, hard covers returned. 1934 marked the year of the addition of the words “Memory Book” replacing “Annual.” In 1935 the word Polaris was dropped and it simply became the “Memory Book” which we all know and love. Well, almost! Remember the rebellion of the 1970’s? The class of 1974 decided that they wanted to change the name. Principal William Munsell would not agree so that year there was no name on the book and to protest, the journalism class picked orange for the color of the cover. The next year it was called “Reflections” but in 1976 it returned to the name of “Memory Book.” Limited color photos appeared in 1970 and layouts became more sophisticated.
We had a famous editor. Willard Kiplinger began his illustrious career at North. He was not only the Polaris editor he wrote an article “Greater Columbus,” which was printed and he read on Class Day in 1907.
North High publications have come a long way during their history.