The land which is now known as Norwood, Ohio was part of a million acres purchased in 1787 by John Cleves Symmes. He paid 66 cents per acre.
By 1809, a weary traveler could find rest and food at Bowman's Tavern, a coach stop at Smith and Montgomery Roads. About 50 persons living near the tavern named their settlement Sharpsburg, named after John Sharpe, about whom little is known. Over the years, the Sharpsburg name was dropped and Norwood came into being. It's believed that Mrs. L. Bolles, wife of one of the land developers in Norwood, actually came up with the name Norwood. It seems she was infatuated with a popular book at the time named Norwood.
By 1873, the village embraced the farms of Mills, Smith, Langdon, Williams, Durrell and Drake families. The village was incorporated into a town in 1888 under the name of Norwood.
Interest in education for citizens of Norwood was sparked by David Mills, who set aside a parcel of land in 1828 to be used for a school. A one-room brick building, Central School, was erected in 1838 (where LaRosa's on Montgomery Road now sits). This school was replaced in 1856 by a two-story building on the same location. Enrollment was so great by 1891, the Board of Education decided to divide the district in half, North Norwood at one end of Norwood and Williams at the other.
Allison Street Elementary School was a 12-room elementary school built in 1896 at Allison and Weyer Avenue. Also on the Allison lot was an old house which was used as the high school for a time before a proper building was constructed. This structure was then combined with the neighboring elementary in 1914 when the new high school building on Sherman Avenue was completed. In 1917, the former high school building on Allison Street and Courtland Avenue burned, and a replacement 12-room structure was built to house the elementary grades.
North Norwood School dates back to 1891. The building now standing at the corners of Marion and Highland Avenues was erected in 1915 and went by the name of Marion Street School. A major remodeling effort took place in the late 1940s. The school was closed in 1988 and subsequently leased by the Hamilton County Educational Service Center.
Williams Avenue Elementary was opened in 1892 when the Norwood City School District was divided in half. The two-room building was doubled in 1893. Today's structure was built in 1917 - with revisions made throughout the next several decades. The Administration Building was added in 1952.
Sharpsburg Elementary, located on a city block between Smith, Forest and Robertson Avenues, replaced the original Central School on Montgomery Road when it was opened in 1910. It was the first school in Norwood to install a cafeteria. The Sharpsburg Primary building for grades K-2 was built in 1959.
Construction on Norwood View Elementary began in 1915 on Carthage Avenue. Ten rooms and an auditorium were added in 1929, four more rooms in 1934, and a primary wing in 1953.
Norwood Middle School was opened originally in 1914 as the high school on Sherman Avenue. It was converted to Norwood Junior High School in 1972 when the 7th and 8th grade students were moved there from the elementary buildings to join 9th graders. On August 30, 1988, the building became Norwood Middle School and the 6th grade students began attending there along with 7th and 8th graders. For the 2003-2004 school year, another change as it was decided students were to remain at the elementary buildings through 6th grade. Norwood Middle School housed only 7th and 8th grade students from this time until the commencement of the 2021-2022 school year when 6th graders again returned to the building.
The history of Norwood High School dates back to 1885 when the Board of Education approved home instruction for grades 9 and 10. Students wanting to attend grades 11 and 12 paid their own tuition to neighboring school districts. A four-year curriculum was established in Norwood in 1895 at Marion (North). The secondary grades were moved to the Central School in 1896 and to the old Allison Street School in 1901. The first class to graduate from Norwood High School was in 1899. A picture of that small class is on display at Norwood High School. In 1903, the high school was granted a charter by the Ohio Department of Education.
For 58 years, Norwood High School served the needs of the Norwood community. To accommodate a growing enrollment, a new high school was opened in 1972 adjacent to the old school. The new senior high school served grades 10, 11 and 12. Years later, it was decided the high school should consist of grades 9-12. The more modern facilities included a color television system connected by cable to all Norwood public and parochial schools, a planetarium, a data processing center and a districtwide copy center with more than 10,000 teaching aids.