I grew up in a small Ohio town, and I rode the school bus from 1st through 12th grades. My bus ride always included a country road on which every school day we saw a one-room brick school house. (SW corner of Stine Rd and Enon-Xenia Pike). As the years went by, I watched this wonderful, familiar friend fall apart. After I married, the school really began to deteriorate. Every time we visited the area I would want to take a photo of the school, but never did. Finally, when we went specifically for the task, the school was gone. It was a huge loss for me and, since that time, whenever we pass a one-room school, it is a joy to stop to take a picture or two. Thus, our collection here, and the one with schools in other states. Jill :oD

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Benton #7, Upper Stone School

After church today, being a beautiful day for driving, we headed up north of Shellsburg to find a school I read about.
One needs to travel 5.5 miles north of Shellsburg (or about 4 miles south of Urbana) on county highway W26 to 58th Street Drive, then go west one mile. The school is on the southeast corner of 58th and 31st Avenue. Built in 1875, this beautiful stone school, now used as a home, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is surrounded pretty much by trees, so photography was difficult without trespassing. The old pump is still there.
On 12/11/11 we rephotographed the school; we knew the winter weather would give us a clear field of view.  However, a storm earlier this year destroyed hundreds of trees in the area of this school, and apparently the four trees on the west side of this school suffered from this storm since all that was left were stumps.  While we got some nice photographs, it was sad to see the loss.
Update 5/19/2012:  The following interesting information was sent to me by the owner.  

The Upper Stone School house was built in 1875 by local craftsmen.   The  18 inch walls of Yellow Limestone believed to come from a quarry one mile north and on the north side of the river was used at this School and also at Lower Stone which is located one mile east of Upper Stone, 1/4 mile south and 3/4 mile east.   Lower Stone was built in 1880's but had it roof razed by a fire in 1940's.

Why the two stone schools were built so close is unknown but they were on the fringe area of Benton City which was the prospering, intended county seat.  The rail road went through Vinton instead and Benton City started it's decline in the late 1800's.

In a old documented photograph over forty students were attending Upper Stone in 1880's when a new wooden school  was built about 1/2 mile south and on the hill.   It has been destroyed over the years.
In 1905 the stone school house and property was sold to my grandfather (Elmer Scott) for a home and he operated a saw mill across the road to the west.   My mother (Mildred Scott) was born in the stone school house along with three sisters and three brothers.

The property has been owned by two of my Uncles since Elmer and his wife passed away in 1950's.  I purchased the property in 1975 along with 20 acres of land.

I remodeled the house and lived with my wife there for over twenty years.  In 1976 I went through the procedures to have the National Historical designation be assigned to Upper Stone School.  We did have the stone work tuck pointed by a local company who has done historical houses before.  There are many school carvings etched into the stone.

We built a new house south of the school house and our intent is to keep the school house preserved for future generations   After retirement I intended to reconstruct the inside of the school back to it's original use but still haven't found time to do so.

In 2011 we suffered straight line winds and several of the old cedar and catalpa trees feel victim to the winds and only a portion of the roof of the stone school house had to be replaced due to a fallen tree.

Russ Glime

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