Task accomplished! This morning a fine crew of a dozen Friends of the Schoolhouse met with buckets, vinegar, soda, ammonia and rags to clean 160+ years of soot and grime from Old No. 12 Schoolhouse. == Continued below.
As reporter by Roger Austin 6/28/14
Work began by moving lumber, desks and other items in the way from inside to an enclosed trailer loaned by Dale Pitts. Two partitions that will form closets in the foyer were raised for the first time in over a year. All windows were opened. The floor was broomed. Ladders and stools were set in place. The water and chemicals were mixed. Then it was all business. Careful wiping and occasional scrubbing soon revealed much of the original colors – gray blue in the main room and light tan in much of the foyer. In most places the old paint held well. In others it crumbled easily and was left as found. Grafitti were found in many places – in pencil, lipstick, charcoal, and pen or carved into the wood. The graffiti date from the 1800s to 1944. Three hours and many pails of wash water later the Schoolhouse walls were much brighter. Most of the vertical streaks from years of leaking roofs were removed, not to mention dust, cobwebs, and soot from the wood stove. The excellent crew included Charles and Helen Alton, Roger and Carol Austin, Linda Batt, Lee Goolden, Eugene and Mary Jones, Gary Hargrave, Judi Sanford, Lee Turner, and Carol Venton.
The next step inside is to coat the walls with a flat, clear sealer and then begin installation of the flooring and ceiling. Original, salvaged boards will be used in the entry area and new ones in the main room. Current plans are to finish the floor with little or no stain and clear sealer. The new ceiling will be painted to match the original. Following completion of the floors the partitions in the entry will be re-erected and the boys’ and girls’ doors reattached. Outside work remaining includes installation of a wood shingle roof, chimney, trim, the last of the clapboard siding, and new (old) front and rear doors.
Much work remains before the dedication during Labor Day weekend. Expenses also grow as completion approaches. Support in all forms is always welcome. Every volunteer hour is money in the bank.