The first school in the Albany area was established in 1836 when William Venard’s old cabin was converted into a schoolhouse near the center of town. Classes were taught over the course of a three-month term1. In 1874, this school was known as Delaware Township’s District 1 schoolhouse. It sat on the east side of South Water Street, just north of Albany’s modern day Lions Club building2.
Albany’s second extant schoolhouse was originally built as the area’s German Reformed Church, which was shuttered sometime prior to 1880 when its seats and furniture were sold to a new church being built north of town on Green Street Road3.
The discovery of the Trenton Oil Field and the subsequent gas boom of eastern Indiana and western Ohio brought rapid growth and regional prominence to Albany. At least as of 1887, the abandoned church was used as a supplemental classroom space for Albany’s 1876 schoolhouse that stood across West State Street4. This arrangement probably ended in 1889, when a newer and larger school was completed10.
By 1899, the old church and schoolhouse was being used as a blacksmith’s shop with a wooden storage addition along its western face6. Eleven years later, it was in service as a warehouse for the L.N. Way Coal and Lumber Company7. By 1943, the schoolhouse was part of the Albany Lumber Company8, the successor of L.N. Way & Son, which closed in 19709.
In the 1980s, the old building housed the The Flower Box gift shop, and it was home to the My Country Store and Victorians mercantile. In 2005, the structure was renovated and expanded into its 2021 state as a home and office10.
1 Ellis, J. S. (1898, August 17). Our County. Its History and Early Settlement by Townships. The Muncie Morning News. p. 6.
2 Town of Albany, Indiana. (n.d.). A brief history of Albany, Indiana. Albany, Indiana. Web. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
3 Albany Items (1880, June 5). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.
4 Griffing, B. N. (1887). An atlas of Delaware County, Indiana. map, Philadelphia, PA; Griffing, Gordon, & Company.
5 Albany County’s Second Largest Town, Rich In History (1927, September 25). The Muncie Star. pp. 40-41.
6 (1899) Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Albany, Delaware County, Indiana. Sanborn Map Company. map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
7 (1910) Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Albany, Delaware County, Indiana. Sanborn Map Company. map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
8 (1943) Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Albany, Delaware County, Indiana. Sanborn Map Company. map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
9 Public Auction (1970, July 2). The Muncie Star. p. 34.
10 CoStar Group, LLC. (2019, May 23). 437 W State St. LoopNet. Web. Retrieved September 25, 2021.