Albany’s last extant schoolhouse in Delaware County

In 1893, the Albany Land Company capitalized on the prosperity that the natural gas boom brought to the town in northeastern Delaware County and laid out an addition to the community. It sat east of Halfway Creek1. The following year, the Lake Erie & Western railroad moved the town’s depot to the site of East Albany, a change that infuriated many of the town’s established residents2.

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Another of Delaware Township’s Albany schoolhouses in Delaware County

Julia Allegre, George Current, and Rhoda Current deeded land to the Delaware School Township on July 15, 18761. Shortly after, the township constructed a two-story, three-bay brick building with a hipped roof and cupola to serve as a schoolhouse. Though originally the schoolhouse at Albany was designated as Delaware Township’s District 1, the town eventually operated its own, separate, school system.

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Harrison Township’s Bethel schoolhouse in Delaware County

If I had to rank all of Delaware County’s one-room schoolhouses based on their architectural merits, I’d probably grant the top honors to the old Bethel schoolhouse that served Harrison Township’s District 6. The building predated the era of township-wide consolidated schools, but it was extraordinarily impressive in its day. It was so impressive, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that what’s left of the structure is even the same building.

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Bethel Pike: Eight miles of the old Hub Highway from Muncie to Bethel

Indiana’s early, rural roads were often little more than a pair of dirty tracks through the countryside that were unsuitable for all but the most basic forms of transportation. Around the 1860s, turnpikes sprung up to address the problem. Privately-owned toll roads that were maintained to higher standards, turnpikes got their name from a “pike,” a spiked barrier that was physically turned by the toll house operator to provide access to travelers. In the 1880s, eleven turnpikes radiated out of Muncie1, and Bethel Pike was one of them. Later, it became part of the early Hub Highway.

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