POLAND Open house lets visitors see little red schoolhouse, make crafts




The little red schoolhouse on Center Road hasn’t functioned as a school since 1915, but it still opens its doors regularly.

The schoolhouse is owned by the Poland school district, but the Poland Township Historical Society leases the building for $1 a year. The society has its monthly meetings in the schoolhouse, and four times a year it has open houses.

Sunday’s open house and fall fest allowed visitors to see what a one-room schoolhouse looks like, as well as learn about other aspects of Poland’s history.

“We are trying to educate and generate enthusiasm for the history of Poland Township,” said Larry Baughman, president of the historical society.

Mark Leathers of Poland is interested in the history of buildings.

“I’ve never been here, so we saw it was open, so we decided to pop in and take a look,” he said.

He attended with his fianc e, Connie Daugherty of Poland.

“It’s neat,” Leathers said. “It’s nice that they’re preserving stuff instead of tearing it down.”

Visitors to the schoolhouse, which was built in 1858, can look through old newspapers, yearbooks and other records, as well as see photos from the past and historical items such as school bells.

Children could also make crafts and paint pumpkins at the open house and fall fest.

Farra Simerlink of Poland brought her 5-year-old son Oliver to the event.

“We wanted to do something together today that was like fall and Halloween,” she said. “So we decided to come here.”

This was their first time visiting the schoolhouse.

“We love it,” Farra said “It’s really neat.”

Oliver said the school is “cool.”

He said the little red schoolhouse is different from his school because there is more than one classroom in his school. He is a kindergartner at Union Elementary School.

Erika and Connor Casey, both 10, of Poland enjoyed painting pumpkins at the event.

Erika decorated hers with a vampire and bat while Connor painted a haunted house on his.

The twins have visited the schoolhouse in the past. They are in fourth grade at Dobbins Elementary School.

“I like to come here and see all the artifacts and paint some pumpkins,” Erika said. “You can learn about things that happened in the past so you know how they’re different from how they are today.”

Her brother said the event was fun and he likes the schoolhouse.

“There’s not that many rooms, but a lot of stuff to learn about,” he said.