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Restored Delphi schoolhouse takes children back to 1800s

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DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — Five-year-old Abigail Kennedy and 10-year-old Glenna Myers traveled back in time nearly 140 years to discover what it might have felt like to learn in a one-room school.

Martin Schoolhouse, Carroll County's only fully restored one-room school, had an open house Saturday, hosted by the Friends of Carroll County Parks.

Bonnie Maxwell, a board of director for the organization, said the brick schoolhouse first opened in 1874 and closed in 1901, serving grades one through eight with one teacher. It was also used as a polling place.

The school closed in 1904 and was used for grain storage until 1950, Maxwell said. The building stood vacant for 35 years before Lewis and Hazel Mullin bought the school and restored it to the condition it is in today

The Mullins purchased school desks, tables, a teacher's desk, pump organ, an old iron stove, as well as textbooks that would have been used in that time period. The couple maintained the school until both passed away a few years ago, Maxwell said.

The Friends of Carroll County Parks then acquired the schoolhouse in April 2013 from the Mullin family. Maxwell said they open it up throughout the year for school groups and other tours.

Maxwell said younger people are always curious about the school, as it's drastically different from what they're used to now.

"Kids are just fascinated," she said. "We're always amazed. We can't get rid of them once they come."

The parks organization plans to make the school property into a wayside park, she said. They've already built a picnic shelter and planted some trees and landscaped.

"We still have a lot of work to do," she said.

The schoolhouse is one of 25 left in Carroll County, Maxwell said. She said there once were 115 one-room schools operating in the county. Some that still exist are deteriorating, while others are being restored on the outside or made into homes.


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BEN MIDDELKAMP - (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune


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