Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Looking Back in Time (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #50)

Yes, we have been back to the family cabin in Michigan.  This time, though, was a bit different than previous visits as there were many more glimpses of the town's past history than usual.

The main road through the center of town is currently under construction.
Therefore, a detour is necessary to get from one end of town to the other.  The detour sends the vehicles

one way on the side streets, and the return trip leads the vehicles back on the opposite side of the main drag.To me, an out-of-towner, this translates to seeing buildings and houses not usually glimpsed as we leave our lake cabin to fetch groceries, visit the local thrift store or gather materials for yet another repair project.  And this time, I fell in love with an old, boarded-up beautiful building which I assumed was formerly a school bustling with students and teachers.  This building is magnificent!  (And much larger than it appears in these recent photographs.)

Nowhere is a sign or cornerstone to mark the building's history or name.  But, there
is a very reliable source of information:  my Father-in-Law.  He grew up in this town
and when I explained the location, he immediately told me that this is Central School and
he attended the school from kindergarten through 6th grade.  He remembered one teacher
specifically:  Miss Scott.

Once I knew the name of the school, I could search online for details.  I found out that
the construction for the school started in 1904, was completed in 1909 and this is what it
looked like then.

With the population of the town rapidly growing, the school was added on to in 1911.

You can see it under construction here.

And here is the school in 1919.

In case you are interested in specifics of the history, click on the link here.,_Michigan)

My FIL told me he thought there were possible plans of turning the old school
into apartment units. The article found online confirms this, though I do not
know if the plan is progressing. I would love to see this happen! Meanwhile,
I was pleased to learn that this grand structure has been placed on the
National Register of Historic Places in 2008.   Good call here, folks!

Finding this building was more than just finding a building for me.  It was a
gentle reminder that a detour in the road - the road of life if you want to think
in a broader stroke - can bring inconvenience, but also unexpected beauty.

Coming:  A visit to a one room school house.

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