June 28, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SCHOOLHOUSE OFFERED HOME AT POWER & EQUIPMENT MUSEUM


The old one-room schoolhouse located between Philadelphia and Evans Mills, NY has been offered a permanent home at the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum. Assemblywoman Addie Russell brought officials of the Indian River Central School District (IRCSD) and trustees of the Museum together in an effort to preserve this historic building. Following meetings between IRCSD superintendent Jim Kettrick, business manager James Koch, and the Museumís president, Roger Austin, a plan was formulated in which the building will be carefully dismantled and moved to the Museum in Madrid, NY. There it will be reassembled and become part of the growing living history museum.

The St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum is a 501(c)(3), education corporation, provisionally chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. The Museum with its more than 700 members is operated entirely by member volunteers working to preserve the history of how people in the North Country lived and how technology helped shape their lives. Austin noted that one-room schoolhouses provided an essential educational base for this largely rural region from the 1800ís into the 1900ís. It will join several other buildings at the Museumís 115 acre farm site and become a cornerstone for a small heritage village.

Called the No. 12 Schoolhouse, the building was shown on maps covering the Town of LeRay as early as 1855. It was used as a school until 1915. Then it was used only occasionally as a meeting place until the mid-1940ís. It became the property of Champion International Corporation. In 1990, Champion agreed to move the school from its original location on the west side of US Highway 11 to its present location on the other side of the road. It was then donated to the IRCSD.

Prior to its move, the NY State office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation reported that Schoolhouse 12 was ďhistorically and architecturally significant as a highly intact, surviving example of a mid-19th century vernacular one-room rural schoolhouse.Ē The building is a single-story, wood frame structure with a gable roof. It measures 22.5 by 28.7 feet and stands 22 feet high. Inside the entrance is a vestibule with two doors entering the single classroom. Narrow closets are on either side of the inner doors. A portion of the interior has suffered damage from rainwater, but the walls and floors are still largely intact. Student graffiti can still be found.

The Museum is looking for volunteers from throughout the North Country to join a committee that will oversee the relocation and support necessary fund raising. When the committee is in place, ownership of the building will be transferred to the Museum and relocation work will begin. Former one-room schoolhouse students and teachers, educators, or anyone interested in preserving this unique building are invited to join the effort by contacting James Koch at the IRCSD office at (315) 642-3441 or Roger Austin at (315) 344-7470 or by email at rsaustin123@earthlink.net. For more information visit www.slpowermuseum.com or write info@slpowermuseum.com.