HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A historic one room schoolhouse is on the move, but not everyone is on board.
Phyllis Kirschner has fond memories from the Bell Schoolhouse in Cherry Valley. Her aunt taught there and several family members were students.
She remembers hearing the big bell chime every morning.
“It was heavenly,” Phyllis Kirschner of Hamilton Township recalls.
The one room schoolhouse operated from 1870 to 1953. It didn’t have running water or electricity.
“On a stormy day, it was dark in here,” Kirschner adds.
The Monroe County Historical Association runs the building, which now serves as a museum.
Executive Director Amy Leiser has several concerns. She says visitation has dropped.
“In the past three years we’ve had 37 people,” says Amy Leiser, Executive Director of Monroe County’s Historical Association.
Leiser adds, the school is located on a dangerous curve.
“We just are not getting the people there, and that’s our goal we want people to learn about the education in Monroe County,” she adds.
The Historical Association offered to donate the school to Hamilton Township, but officials there said they didn’t have a place to put it. So, Stroud Township’s leaders decided to take it. Their goal is to move the building a few miles away to the Josie Porter Farm.
“We’re so excited about it,” says Heidi Secord, owner of the Josie Porter Farm.
This is a community based farm, built on open space. A historic election house has already been re-purposed on the site.
“Allowing people to experience them [historic buildings] and to be able to tell the story about them is a very exciting idea to us,” Secord adds.
Phyllis isn’t happy about the decision. She fears the school will lose its historic integrity, and doesn’t think the old building can handle a move.
She says, “I have a feeling they’ll run into problems and probably ruin the building.”
The plan is to move the Bell Schoolhouse next spring.