Trading Pieces of the Puzzle – Update #7

A few people have wondered why Marlin and I chose to take the more difficult path of rebuilding an old schoolhouse (or two) rather than just having one of the many Amish barn-building companies in our area put up a schoolhouse in our pasture. That would have been a much faster and easier process, but had we chosen to have a new schoolhouse built, it is more likely we would not have delved so deeply into the history of the one-room schoolhouse in our country and our own community. I am so grateful we didn’t miss this.

After studying The One-Room Schools of Coshocton County, Ohio, I also found a book containing the history of all the one-room schoolhouses of our home county of Tuscarawas County. Marlin and I studied the maps and found two schoolhouses built in the late 1830s that are still standing and are both located not far from our home. One of the buildings we drove past countless times in the last eight years and never gave it a second thought… until this past fall when I started to study the early schoolhouses. Now I find myself slowing down and studying the building. Isn’t that interesting how something can be right in front of us but until it means something to us, we overlook it?

Brief Aside on an Opportunity for You to Save a Local Schoolhouse

The photos below show two of the eight one-room schoolhouses in our township. I think these buildings are so charming and would love to see them rehabilitated or salvaged before it’s too late.


Trail School

Trail School was built in 1835 and operated as a school until 1940.

Oak Ridge School

Oak Ridge School was built in 1830 and used until 1930.


When Joe, the gentleman who saved our second schoolhouse from demolition, sent us the exact location of the school, my search began to gather more information. As I shared in an earlier post, the only name I could find was School No.3 in Posey Township. After contacting several historical organizations in the county, I was thrilled to hear back from the library in Franklin County and was very much looking forward to learning the story of this building, especially since everything about our tiny, first schoolhouse remains a mystery. Because we had an exact location for the schoolhouse, I thought it would be a simple exchange of information. I shared with them the exact original location, how the schoolhouse was moved in the early 1900s, the photo of the huge tree near the original location, and the exact address from where the remaining timbers and pieces had been removed.

My contact at the library told me the library had recently compiled a history of the early schools in Franklin County to preserve their story. However, they could not find anything about School No.3 other than a few possible names by which it was referred. My disappointment quickly faded as she went on to share their excitement at learning what had happened to the schoolhouse. She was able to share a photo of the schoolhouse as it looked when it was a residence and a very old photo of what could possibly be a partial photo of the building when it was still operating as a school.

Even though our puzzles both remain incomplete, the ability to connect and share has helped both of us fill in a few more pieces. Who knows, maybe more information will be uncovered along the way.

May you find joy in the simple things in life,



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