HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, OH (WCMH) — Few of us have ever attended a one-room-schoolhouse, but we know the few left standing are a part of American history.
One iconic schoolhouse has been seen by millions of people travelling up and down U.S. 23 at the intersection of Rathmell Road, just north of Eldorado Scioto Downs.
The one-room schoolhouse is in dire condition and stands just feet from the intersection.
A group of Hamilton Township folks have stepped forward with an effort called ‘Save Our 1 Room Schoolhouse’.
They are asking community members to turn out on May 4 at 7pm at the Hamilton Township Community Center, to hear a presentation, ask questions and volunteer to help if they can.
The idea is to move the 120-year-old one-room schoolhouse, by taking it apart brick by brick, board by board, and then move it to a yet unknown location on the Hamilton Local School District campus.
Life-time resident Wally Obert is on the school board, but said no school money or taxes will be used to move the building. Obert said this is an all-volunteer effort to disassemble and rebuild the building.
“Some people would like to see it stay where it is, but it is really structurally unsound,” he said.
Before touring the inside Obert showed what problems they have discovered on the outside.
“The slate shingles on the northwest corner of the roof have come off and we discovered wooden shingles underneath,” he said.
“The southwest corner is going to be coming down sooner or later,” he said pointing to a large crack running diagonally down the wall.
“We just don’t want to see this school go to the dump,” he said.
Last week when the group was making a preliminary survey, they discovered a surprise behind the wallpaper on an exterior wall.
“This is one of the original blackboards, there is still writing on the board,” he said, they stopped to let someone versed in preservation remove the rest.
Obert said this school is a part of Hamilton Township’s history.
“We are a real pride-full, tough community and this is part of us, and we plan on keeping it.”
He said part of the discussion at the Thursday evening meeting is they need volunteers to sit on structural, fundraising and historical committees.
“We are hoping a lot of the elders will get involved in the history, because we want to store that history in this structure when we rebuild it,” Obert said.
Historical records show students attended here from around 1897 to 1926, the school was sold to the Hartman Estate. That mega-farm family turned it into a farm worker’s home in the 30s. Records show simple farm homes were built along South High Street on the eastside and children from those farm families attend what has been know at Hamilton Local school #10 and the Hartman School.