About Us

IHS in 2013


History of The Istrouma Senior High School

Istrouma High School had its beginnings in 1917 in a two-room frame building with a faculty of two. In 1921 the school moved to a larger brick building at the corner of Erie and Wenonah Streets. By then the eighth and ninth grades were added and the faculty consisted of five teachers. And still more children came to the underfunded school that was equipped with wooden benches and burlap curtains dividing the rooms.

The Istrouma Grammar School had its first graduation in 1921 and in 1924 the first high school graduates received their diplomas - seven girls and one boy. The school continued to grow and in 1931 another building was added at the corner of Erie and Tecumseh Streets. In 1935 Istrouma High formed the first IHS Band and football team with coaches Ellis A. Brown and J. E. Brown.

By 1950 the school had more than 1000 students and moved to its current location on 30 acres along Winbourne Avenue. The old school buildings became Istrouma Middle School and then a magnet school until they were torn down in 2005.

In 1964, forty-seven years after its inception, Principal Ellis A. Brown and Assistant Principal Clyde Lindsay led an IHS faculty of 75 teachers and coaches, a student body of 1700 and a senior class of nearly 500.

We, the Senior Class of 1964, have gone on to become college graduates, employees, employers, educators, wives, husbands, parents, grandparents and contributing members of our respective communities. And forty-five years after high-school graduation, many of our class still harbor a spirit that is deep-seated in our Istrouma Days.

- From the Class of 1964 - 45th Class Reunion Booklet

[Note: On October 21, 2013, the Recovery School District announced plans to close Istrouma High School for one year, and to use the building for administrative offices. Istrouma High and Capitol High will merge on the Capitol High campus, with Friendship Public Charter Schools, of Washington, D.C., in charge. In response to the RSD board's decision to close Istrouma High, a petition to keep it open has been started by a 2003 graduate. Read the advocate.com article here - http://theadvocate.com/home/7452355-125/story.html.]

The Legend of Nawaganti

"Here roamed of old the Redman. Here stood his skin teepee. Here crossed the mystic red stick. 'Tis Istrouma, 'tis Istrouma cried the trees." For legend tells of a land on the Mississippi River where tall trees sheltered many animals, and rushing waters were filled with fish. This bountiful place provided a perfect hunting and fishing haven for the Red People who lived there, and in a clearing near the,great river, what began as a single village grew into a great Indian Nation.

According to legend, two tribes of proud and noble Indians, the Houma and the Bayou Goula, inhabited this land. Eventually there was a dispute over the boundaries of their hunting lands, and the chiefs met to decide the division of the lands between their nations. On a cliff bordering the river, they erected a tall tree trunk that had been painted red, thus marking the boundary line between the tribes. The Redmen called this place "Isse Trouma", meaning "Red Stick". As the years passed, "Isse Trouma" was shortened to Istrouma, and the Indians living nearby were known as the Istrouma Indians.

Legend recounts that Nawaganti, a young brave, became the chief of this new nation and ruled with austere dignity, stern justice and fierce loyalty. Then one day came men with white skins and strange dress. The Indian people were frightened, and Nawaganti was alarmed because the French explorers wanted to take the land from the Indians and make it a land for the White Man. Fiercely loyal to his people, Nawaganti led his braves into battle. The young, fearless leader was killed during the battle, and his people were driven from their village. All that remained was the reddened pole. Thus the White Men took over this land and translated the name "Isse Trouma" (Red Stick) into their French language calling it Baton Rouge.

So goes the legend of Istrouma. And 'tis said down through the ages that Nawaganti still walks the land and treads the paths he once defended - where now stands a school so grand. And 'tis said that Nawaganti rules as long ago for he lends his spirit, ever loyal, brave and true.

- From the Class of 1964 - 45th Class Reunion Booklet

Alma Mater

Click here for a PDF version.

The Class of 1964

[This section is under development.]

1964 Pow Wow Yearbook & War Whoop Newspaper

Thanks to classmate Don Berry for scanning our 1964 Pow Wow yearbook. He has dedicated this 29kb PDF version to "my fellow Indians, especially those who have passed on". Click here once to read the 1964 Pow Wow. Be patient - it make take awhile to download this large file depending upon the speed of your Internet connection. Save the file for future reading without downloading again.

And thanks to classmate Charlie Johnson for scanning the 1963-64 War Whoop newspaper. According to Charlie, "I greatly enjoyed the 50th reunion. Sorry I missed so many others." Click here once to download and read the 1964 War Whoop. Be patient - it make take awhile to download this large file depending upon the speed of your Internet connection. Save the file for future reading without downloading again.