Hamilton Township’s Williamson schoolhouse in Delaware County

Delaware County’s original Hamilton Township District 4 schoolhouse was built sometime between 1874 and 1881 on a triangular plot of land owned by Adam Williamson. The plot is now bounded by East County Road 400-N, North County Road 200-E, and Indiana State Road 67. Locals soon referred to the building by Williamson’s name1, and the old Pleasant Grove Church was built nearby shortly afterwards2

Continue reading “Hamilton Township’s Williamson schoolhouse in Delaware County”

Blackford County’s old Shinn’s Chapel church

I haven’t spent a lot of time looking into them, but I’m attracted to abandoned, rural churches for the same reason I love old schoolhouses. They’re testaments to communities that once thrived but have since been forgotten, and I’m driven to try and tell their stories. Although deserted schoolhouses were often repurposed into barns, corn cribs, or sheds, it’s uncommon for old churches to be recycled in that way. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened to Shinn’s Chapel -later known as the Blackford Methodist Episcopal Church- in the far northeastern corner of Blackford County. 

Continue reading “Blackford County’s old Shinn’s Chapel church”

Jackson Township’s White Oak schoolhouse in Jay County

Jackson Township’s White Oak schoolhouse sits on sixty-four wooded acres just east of the Loblolly Marsh Wetland Preserve. “There’s a very good reason why you can’t come upon the school as you drive along,” a reporter for the Portland Commercial Review wrote in 1968. “It is located near a road which was abandoned about a decade ago. You can see it by car, with the aid of binoculars, from County Road 99 between County Roads 16 and 20 in Jackson Township1” Now that we’re firmly into the 21st century, a drone works too. 

Continue reading “Jackson Township’s White Oak schoolhouse in Jay County”

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.

Continue reading “Albany’s last extant schoolhouse in Delaware County”

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.

Continue reading “Another of Delaware Township’s Albany schoolhouses in Delaware County”

One of Delaware Township’s Albany schoolhouses in Delaware County

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.

Continue reading “One of Delaware Township’s Albany schoolhouses in Delaware County”

The Perry County Courthouse in Rome, Indiana (1818-1859)

Historians have examined the cities of Rome and Troy for years, trying to ascertain whether one was founded by descendants of the other’s ancient heroes or whether the story was a legend. Rest assured- through my diligent research, I’ve finally cracked the case: though the two cities were founded at different times by different people, they remained fierce rivals for nearly fifty years. Just like in ancient times, Rome, Indiana managed to outlive its Hoosier counterpart, Troy, at least for a while.

Continue reading “The Perry County Courthouse in Rome, Indiana (1818-1859)”