In 1901 this land was a pastoral scene of trees and a strawberry field outside the city limits. That year the Bay City Independent School District purchased most of this block for $300. A two-story, eight-room frame school was erected here, and classes were transferred from a two-room schoolhouse at Avenue D and Eight Street, which had been used since 1895.
One of the teachers, Miss Tenie Holmes (1874-1952), began her career in 1896 at a private school in Bay City. From 1898 she taught public classes at Avenue D, then moved to the first school on this site, which served from 1901 to 1905. She retired from Bay City schools in 1936, then conducted a private school until her death. An elementary school was named for her in 1952.
Additional lots and a second block were acquired here in 1930, and "Bay City High School" was built on this site. The one-story structure was designed by architect Harry D. Payne, and exhibited Spanish colonial revival details in brick, cast stone, and tile roofing. The campus expanded in 1937 with the purchase of a third block. The 1930 building was converted to a junior high school in 1949, and in 1962 it became "John H. Cherry Elementary School". The structure was demolished in 1986.