Wayne Township’s Clarksville schoolhouse in Hamilton County

The town of Clarksville was laid out in 1849. The first schoolhouse in the area, known as Swamp College, stood about 3/4 of a mile west of the settlement and operated under the subscription model until 18541. The first school in Clarksville proper was built in 1867 as a graded school under the direction of a board consisting of Dr. P.P. Whitesell, D.D. Taylor, and J.R. Leonard2.

Photo taken April 15, 2022.

Unfortunately, declining enrollment led the institution to become a “common” schoolhouse3 until the present building was built in 1898 under the direction of Charles Zeis4.

Teachers of Wayne Township’s District 8 schoolhouse, as the institution was eventually designated, housed younger pupils from grades 1-4 on the west side of the building while its older students -grades 5-8- studied on the building’s eastern wing. The areas were divided by a folding, wooden partition5

In 1929, its students visited the Indiana State Reformatory to study broom-making and the prison’s bakery before they adjourned to Pendleton’s park nearby6.

Along with Wayne Township’s Willow Pond and Tick Ridge schoolhouses, the Clarksville school closed after the 1929-30 school year, when Wayne Township’s consolidated grade school at Durbin was completed8. Officials sold the building at auction in 19409.

Kim and David Porter purchased the abandoned schoolhouse in 199810. The couple opened a horticultural shop named “Garden & Thyme at the Old Schoolhouse” and intended to use the proceeds of the business to renovate and preserve the old building. In 2010, the original slate roof was replaced with asphalt shingles to save the building, and the store seems to have operated through at least 201311.

Unfortunately it appears as though the old building is abandoned today.

Sources Cited
1 Events Of Long Ago Recalled At A Reunion (1935, November 1). The Noblesville Ledger. pp. 1-5. 
2 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.
3 Haines, J.F. (1915). History of Hamilton County, Indiana: Her People, Industries, and Institutions. book. B.F. Bowen & Company. 
4 Crow, A. (2010, April 28). Historic Home and Structures of South Madison County. The Pendleton Times-Post. p. 8.
5 (See footnote 4).
6 East Wayne (1929, May 1). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 4.
7 Hamilton County Public Schools (1929). Teacher’s directory: names and addresses of officers and teachers of Hamilton County Public Schools, 1929-1930. Noblesville, IN.
8 Dairy Feeding Schools at Durbin and Westfield (1930, November 22). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 1. 
9 Notice of Sale of Township Abandoned School Properties (1940, March 18). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 5.
10 (See footnote 4).
11 Ind. 38 garage sale (2013, May 2). The Indianapolis Star. p. W10. 

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