Charlotte’s Schoolhouse

The One-Room Schoolhouse was originally located in neighboring Hardin County, along present day County Road 20 in Blanchard Township. It was known as the Maple Grove School, situated in District #7, and sat across from Keiper Farm. The building was constructed about 1895 and served students southeast of Dunkirk until a consolidated brick school structure was constructed in the 1920s. At that time, the land and building reverted back to the land owner. The former school was then used s a storage building on the Keiper Farm.

During the early 1960s the Board of Directors wanted to have a one-room schoolhouse on the Museum property to assist in teaching history to local students. Most of the surviving schools in Wyandot County were constructed of brick and were very difficult to move. Gordon Keiper, a funeral director from Dunkirk, learned of the Society’s desires and arranged to donate the former schoolhouse to the Wyandot County Historical Society in 1966.

The structure was raised off its original foundation, placed on a flatbed trailer, and transported primarily in one piece to the museum grounds. A new foundation had been prepared ahead of time and the school was placed on its new base. The Society undertook a restoration project to prepare the interior of the structure for use. The walls and ceiling were replastered and painted plus a heating system and modern lighting were installed. Many of the desks, benches, and cabinets came from other one-room schools in the county and had been acquired by the Society and curator Harry Kinley prior to the donation of the school building. A formal dedication ceremony was held on May 27th, 1973 and presided over by Board President Donald B. Schilling.

For numerous persons, former Board of Directors member Charlotte Leeth is known as the schoolmarm. She has provided nineteenth century lessons to countless students over the years and in recognition of this, the building was renamed as Charlotte’s Schoolhouse on April 30, 2013. The building is still used regularly during third grade tours and as a unique meeting space for local civic organizations.

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