September 1, 2014

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Former Pittsfield one-room schoolhouse moved to new location

Crews lift a utility line out of the way as they move the schoolhouse along state Route 58 north of Wellington to its new home in Pittsfield Township. Some of the lines were too big to lift alone and utility crews with lift buckets and a crane cleared those off the road for the load that took up both lanes of Route 58. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Crews lift a utility line out of the way as they move the schoolhouse along state Route 58 north of Wellington to its new home in Pittsfield Township. Some of the lines were too big to lift alone and utility crews with lift buckets and a crane cleared those off the road for the load that took up both lanes of Route 58. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

PITTSFIELD TWP. — The Pittsfield Township Historical Society’s one-room schoolhouse slowly made its way down state Route 58 on Monday to its new location near the Township Hall.

Guided by the Ohio Highway Patrol, workers lifted telephone lines to clear the way for the old building, which was transferred by Klier Structural Movers. Residents stood and watched as the building was pulled into the parking lot, where it would eventually be unloaded.

Ralph Hayes, treasurer of the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, said the schoolhouse will temporarily be at the corner of state Routes 58 and 303. The schoolhouse eventually will sit at the site of the township’s former garage when the garage is demolished, Hayes said.

Previously, the schoolhouse was on the east side of state Route 58 just north of Merriam Road.

Shawn Godwin, a professor and Cleveland-based historic preservation and restoration specialist who worked on the schoolhouse, said the schoolhouse will be open occasionally for tours and meetings. There is still work to be done on the inside, although renovation on the outside of the building is complete.

The schoolhouse is an important part of the township’s history, according to Godwin, who estimated that building was built between 1836 and 1846.

“It’s unique because it’s possibly the oldest school left in the Western Reserve,” he said.

The schoolhouse is one of the only historical buildings remaining in the township after a tornado blew through in 1965, destroying most of the town center.

The schoolhouse was last used as a farm machine shop and storage building on the old Joe and Mary McConnell farm, now owned by Doug Hurst, who donated the building to the historical society.

Since then, the society has been fundraising to renovate the building, which has been a five-year process.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

 

  • PTHS

    On behalf of the Pittsfield Township Historical Society we would like to give a special thanks to Doug Hurst, the community of Pittsfield, our members, the LMRE People Fund, Shawn Godwin, Klier Structural Movers, our many donors / supporters and especially the board of directors (Ralph Hayes, Jim Sheffield, Bert Latran Jr., Lynn Youngblood, Jeff Sigsworth, Daniel Clark & Dianne Hinkle). Without all of you we never would have made it this far. Thank you!!

  • Simon Jester

    Cool.