Indiana State Road 38 transects Fall Creek Township just outside of Pendleton and nearly in line with what was once called the New Castle and Lafayette State Road, which opened in the 1830s1. Before it was designated as a state highway, the thoroughfare was an old wagon trail that ran through an area called Spring Valley.
Spring Valley -a collection of homes around the modern day intersection of IN-38 and South County Road 150-West- was home to many Quakers at one point, including several involved with the Underground Railroad2. Eventually, the homes -just half a mile southeast from a Friends Church- became so numerous that the population increase warranted the construction of a schoolhouse, Fall Creek Township’s District 3. In 1880, the building was situated at the southeast corner of 38 and 150-West, on the land of T.M. Hardy3.
The iteration of the school that’s still standing was completed in 1902 at a time when what’s now State Road 38 ran to the south of the structure4. Those traveling by the old schoolhouse today on IN-38 see the building from its back wall.
In 1906, the District 5: Lukens school was closed and its students were sent to District 3.
In 1928, the Spring Valley school was reopened after a year of closure as the result of a petition circulated amongst District 3, whose students had been conveyed to Pendleton5. In 1933 the schoolhouse, abandoned for several years, was sold to Robert Noland of Markleville, who remodeled it into a dwelling6. Noland overhauled the old schoolhouse pretty extensively, to the point of deception: I had to check with the Madison County Historian, Steve Jackson, to make sure I’d photographed the right building!
Today, it remains a home.
1 Jackson, S. T. (2018, April 1). Incident involving Douglass highlights history of Spring Valley. The Herald Bulletin. Wb. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
2 Jackson, S. T. (2021, February 8). Local folks risked their freedom to help runaway slaves. The Herald Bulletin. Web. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
3 Kingman Brothers. (1880). History of Madison County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. Chicago, IL.
4 Jackson, S. T. (2021, August 19). Madison County schoolhouses. email.
5 Will Open School (1928, October 11). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.
6 Old School Sold (1933, September 18). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.
2 thoughts on “Fall Creek Township’s Spring Valley schoolhouse in Madison County”
This is the most un-schoolhousey schoolhouse I have ever seen.
No doubt. It took some serious convincing for me to buy it. Tip of the iceberg!
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