Wednesday, August 2, 2017


The Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society (AWTHS) along with the Jackson family will be sponsoring an “old school house” open house and tour on September 10, 2017 from 2-4pm rain or shine. Center School is located on the farm of Tom and Barbara Jackson located at 6891 Grubbs Rex Road located near Arcanum in Twin Township. Tom has been working on the old school for several years in an attempt to help preserve our educational history and buildings. Class starts at 2pm with a brief history lesson of the school followed by student stories and tour. Afterwards, participants may drive the self-guided driving tour of the other schools on the brochure in the area. Info will be available on site or can be downloaded from AWTHS web site or FB event page.

The school is also a designated historic site by the AWTHS earlier this year. In reading the plaque you can see the start of this particular location as 1884. In Twin Township minutes we find the school mentioned as early as 1839. However, at this point we are not certain if this was the exact location today as back in earlier days. In September 1884 the present school was completed for $1284.00 and the old brick from the first school was used in the project. The school was also known as #4.

In 1864 we find Center averaged 58 students at the school which was grades 1-8. In later years, once 8th grade and graduation was completed students then had the option of going to high school by attending where those grades were established. The school in Arcanum would have been an option. In talking to some past students of the school we can speculate that classes ended here around mid to late 1930’s.

As far as the sale of the little red school house we find the following about Center and other nearby schools: Three Red Brick Schools Sold At Public Auction Saturday (August 17). Three old red brick school houses located in the vicinity were sold at public sale Saturday afternoon from the steps of the Arcanum public school. The sale was supervised by the local board of education with Dave Williams as auctioneer. … Center School located two miles south of Arcanum brought $185 and was purchased by James Bryson of Greenville. (Arcanum Times Aug. 22 1940)

We hope you will plan to join us September 10 for a step back in time. If you attended here as a student or had family who attended or taught, please join us with your stories and photos. Information from the AWTHS reference library will also be on display. If you can’t attend but would like to contribute please send to our email: or contact Annette Stewart, tour and school brochure coordinator.

We will mention briefly the other old schools in the area such as Mt. Summitt, Sockum, Haines and Ithaca of which some were covered in our last driving tour of “Ithaca”. Memorabilia will be on display of the other 10 points of interest in this year’s driving tour which include: Arcanum School, Nealeigh, Tar Bucket, Oakland, Poplar Ridge, Ninevah, #9, Delisle and West Point. A map of these and all old schools in area will be available.

As always we are seeking info such as start, end, and selling dates on the schools; if building was taken down as well as students and teachers names or photos.

Sites for more information: and

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