Dawson-Bryant district hopes to preserve school house
DEERING — The one-room schoolhouse located off of State Route 243 in Deering is not much to look at.
With chipped red paint and a rusted metal roof, the building has seen better days. But through a little care and volunteer effort, some community members are hoping to preserve the historic site.
The Dawson-Bryant Local School District recently contributed $3,000 for paint, a new metal roof and replacement boards on the structure. Now the district is hoping for some volunteer support to finish the work.
“In the day that we have so many historical buildings that we tear them down right and left, that facility is still there and I think it would be neat to have it preserved for the heritage of our area there,” Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said.
The district owns the site, but leases the land around the structure to Perry Township, which keeps equipment on the land. Both the Perry Township Trustees and Boy Scout Troop 103, which meets there, are planning to volunteer with the project.
The scouts have been meeting there since the 1950s, Scout Master Marion Harrison said.
The main problem, he and Decamp agreed, is the roof.
“Interestingly enough, the roof looks like it should have blown off years ago, but it hasn’t,” DeCamp said. “It just needs some care.”
Harrison said the roof currently leaks. The windows on one side of the building have been removed and replaced with boards after local children broke them playing baseball.
The building holds some history both for the community and the Boy Scouts. Between 1855 and 1860, the structure was built next to a townhouse, community building and platform known as Deering Grove. The area was the scene of many political rallies and camp meetings as well as the Lawrence County Fair.
Including Harrison, about 30 scouts have achieved the honor of Eagle Scout while they met in the building.
DeCamp said he hopes to have the building added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
“I just want to commend our board members for their commitment to preserve our history in this part of the state,” Decamp said.
Anyone interested in helping with the project may call Harrison at (740) 533-0645.