“One-Room Schoolhouse” Will Tie In With New Cultural Center (w/AUDIO)

On left the former Alexander School south of Ireland

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Jasper (NNDC)  – The local development group ROJAC (Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition) has a new project in the works; a real one-room schoolhouse that will be located next to the Schaefer Barn in the “Old Jasper” part of downtown.

ROJAC of course was founded to help preserve, mainly through building renovations and preservation, the history of downtown Jasper and Dubois County.  Among past ROJAC projects, restoring the former Jasper train depot, which also includes the vintage “Spirit of Jasper” train.

ROJAC founder and president Dave Buehler says the old Alexander School (pictured) is currently on a private farm south of Ireland. It will be moved and then renovated when its relocated. He says there were 113 so-call “one-room” schoolhouses in Dubois County in the early 1900s, so there is historical significance in preserving one of the last remaining ones; and one that can still be preserved…

Buehler says the schoolhouse and the barn will have a nice tie-in with the building of the new Jasper Cultural Center across the street replacing the former Hoosier Desk Building…

ROJAC was organized in 2003 with a goal for “Old Jasper” to become a major destination point for tourism and to become a source of PRIDE for Jasper

BELOW IS THE ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE ON THE SCHOOLHOUSE FROM ROJAC WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

News Release: ROJAC Announcing New Project

    • ROJAC believes the history of the one room school house is important to preserve. In 1901 there were 113 in Dubois County.  The building will be the old Alexander school located in Madison township south of Ireland.
    • The building will be moved and restored to its original state.
    • It will have many uses, such as a point of interest for school day trips, library outreach programs, public events and parties and it will be an additional tourist attraction.
    • It will also feature an Exhibit of the contributions of Geo R. Wilson and Margaret A. Wilson to Dubois County. Schoolhouses of early Dubois County will also be featured.
    • The project will be funded by John and Carma Habig
    • The school itself has a long history. In 1820, it was one of the first 3 schools in Dubois County.  It was located near the present Shiloh Church and was known as the Shiloh school.  It was moved in 1859 to the present location on the Kellams farm.  It then became known as the Alexander school.  (Alexander descendants of the Kellams family).  In 1915 the school burned and the new school was built in 1918.
    • The building is being donated by the Kellams family.
    • Buehler stated, “ROJAC was organized in 2003 with a goal for Old Jasper to become a major destination point for tourism and to become a source of PRIDE for Jasper. We have a membership of over 400 and a board of directors that is mostly intact from the beginning.”

ROJAC founder and president Dave Buehler says, “With the depot, clock, stamped brick sidewalk, city mill, tourist train, GAB Boulevard, Autoplex removal, Schaefer Barn area in place, and now the pending development of the Cultural Center, The River Center, and the one room schoolhouse, we are very excited about the future of Old Jasper.”

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