The Marion County Historical Society would like to invite you to celebrate ten years of the renovated Linn School at an open house on Saturday, July 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. with a short program at 2:00 p.m. Seating outside is limited, so bring a lawn chair if possible. Linn School is located approximately two miles north of Marion on Route 4.
One-room schoolhouses are part of our history, a part of our past – a rich history full of memories. These schoolhouses once totaled 130 in Marion County, Ohio and offered students the opportunity to gain an education in rural areas. School sessions consisted of a single 72-day term in the winter. Students left school in the spring in time to work on planting the spring crops and returning after the fall harvest. The one-room schools were about two miles apart, so most students had to walk no more than one mile each way. (Or in many of our great-grandparents stories; in the snow…uphill…both ways!) In today’s fast paced world, many of these pieces of our past have been put to other uses, fallen down, or been torn down. We have seen these structures incorporated into houses, township offices (or township garages), farm buildings, storage buildings, garages, and grain storage. This one-room schoolhouse was at one time used as a corncrib for the storage of corn crops.
This schoolhouse, Marion Township Sub-District #8, known as Linn School, was not destined for destruction. Built in 1897, of soft clay brick and lime mortar with approximately 800 square feet, the school served students up to the eighth grade. It was rescued and restored and up-graded through the partnership of the purchasers and donors, Merle and Oliver Hamilton, the Marion Historical Society, and Quality Masonry Company, Inc. of Marion, Ohio. Oliver, born August 24, 1903, attended this school from 1909 to 1914, while Merle, born September 29, 1907, attended 1913 to 1920. This historical project not repaired the physical aspects of the schoolhouse, but also the hearts of the owners. Merle & Oliver purchased the property in 2002 and donated it to the Marion County Historical Society the same year, along with approximately $100,000 for the completion of Phase I of the restoration. With the completion of Phase I, the Merle and Peg Hamilton Trust committed a minimum of $2,500 per year for maintenance and operations, as well as other funds to assist school districts with the cost of transporting students to the school.
It has been ten years since the original rededication of Linn School in 2004 and MCHS is fulfilling the mission that Merle and Oliver Hamilton envisioned. Dedicated volunteers do programs telling the Linn School story to all ages from youngsters to golden agers using many anecdotes related by Merle and Oliver Hamilton themselves.
The Linn School has received recognition from:
Downtown Ohio for the Best Rehabilitation Project of 2004; The Ohio Historic Preservation Office for the 2006 Ohio Historic Preservation Merit Award; The National Trust for Historic Preservation 2006 for the National Preservation Award; and was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places on February 7, 2007.
If you have any questions concerning the event please contact Fred Malone, President of the Marion County Historical Society, at 740-389-4312, or Jan Augenstein, Secretary, at 740-389-1923. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!