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

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The ruins of America’s first consolidated schoolhouse, in Raleigh, Indiana

What’s left of the Washington Township Public School sits just east of Raleigh, an unincorporated community in the northeastern corner of Rush County. Local legend -and even a boulder that sits out front- proclaims the building to have been Indiana’s first consolidated school in the nation1. Fact or fiction, the building’s remains are among the most compelling schoolhouse ruins I’ve ever come across.

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The Dunkirk & Moore Pike: There’s gold in that thar…gravel?

D.B. Moore was a Delaware County farmer and an early advocate for free public roads. A resident of rural Niles Township, Moore was deeply suspicious of big-city big-wigs and their big-time motives! That’s part of what makes his story -and the story of the Dunkirk & Moore Pike1– interesting. That, and gold. Gold makes everything more intriguing.

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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. 

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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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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.

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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.

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Hamilton Township’s Jake’s Creek schoolhouse in Delaware County

It’s believed that Thomas Weir taught the first District 6 school. In 1855, a frame schoolhouse was built at the southwest corner of the present-day intersection of North Everett Road and West Moore Road1. It burned in 1867. A new school was built to replace it the following year2.

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Fall Creek Township’s Brooks schoolhouse in Hamilton County

Fall Creek Township’s District 6 schoolhouse stood on R.P. Kimberlin’s land at the corner of Brooks School Road and East 116th Street1 in 1866. That ground may have originally been deeded from the Brook family, as Brook’s Grove was a popular spot for school reunions a century ago. That picnic spot was situated just across the road from the schoolhouse2.

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Delaware Township’s Blue schoolhouse in Hamilton County

Delaware Township’s extant District 6 schoolhouse, commonly known as Blue, was built in 1902 as a consolidation of three earlier schools1. The first District 6 schoolhouse, known as “Old Blue2” was located just beyond the southeastern corner of East 106th Street and Keystone Parkway3. Its students used the adjacent Farley Cemetery as a playground4.

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