Wayne Township’s Willow Pond schoolhouse in Hamilton County

Some version of Wayne Township’s former District 1 schoolhouse -commonly known as Willow Pond- has stood on the same site at the northwestern corner of what’s now 206th Street and Cyntheanne Road since around 1854, when free schools at Districts 1 and 2 were first established in Wayne Township1. In 1866, the McRhea family owned the 240 acres that surrounded the structure2. Early on, the local United Brethren church held Friday night services at Willow Pond3

Photo taken April 15, 2022.

It’s hard to say exactly when the present structure was erected, although it shares stylistic cues with other schoolhouses built in the 1890s and early 1900s. In 1891, the pupils of Willow Pond gave an exhibition at the Willow Pond Farmers’ Alliance, but the exercises were interrupted by a posse of drunken schoolboys who came from nearby Lapel and Perkinsville in Madison County to raise hell4.

Wayne Township’s District 1: Willow Pond schoolhouse closed after the 1929-30 school year, along with schools at Clarksville and Tick Ridge, when the township’s consolidated elementary school at Durbin opened5. Though the abandoned schoolhouse was sold in 19406, it appears to have had enough alterations performed in 1946 for the county assessor to consider it as a new structure7

Today, the modified schoolhouse still stands as a private residence. 

Sources Cited
1 Helm, T. B. (1880). History of Hamilton County, Indiana: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers). book, Kingman Brothers.
2 Warner, C. S. (1866). Map of Hamilton county, Indiana. atlas. C.A.O. McClellen & C.S. Warner. 
3 Tick Ridge (1888, August 31). The Hamilton County Democrat. p. 8.
4 Wayne (1891, March 27). The Hamilton County Ledger [Noblesville]. p. 2.
5 Hamilton County Public Schools (1929). Teacher’s directory: names and addresses of officers and teachers of Hamilton County Public Schools, 1929-1930. Noblesville, IN.
6 Notice of Sale of Township Abandoned School Properties (1940, March 18). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 5.
7 Hamilton County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2022). Parcel ID: 29-14-05-000-011.000-018. 8 Hamilton County, Indiana Assessor. map, Noblesville, IN.
9 Ford, F. (1955, August 19). Durbin. The Noblesville Ledger. p. 4.

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