Sunday, September 5, 2010

Readin, Writin' and rithmitic.......

                       Claude Roberts and his favorite teacher Mrs. Emma Jean Lightner Emmons.

I love the charm of one-room schools. This is the Posten School in Fleming County. Students in Mr. Charles Berry's Ag. Department renovated this treasure a few years ago. The following article is one I did for the Messenger when the renovations were still underway.

When the students in Charles Berry’s Agriculture Construction class were given an opportunity for a realistic glimpse into the past they jumped at the chance.
Several months ago Charles Berry, who is the Agriculture Construction teacher at Fleming County High School, approached the Browning Family with an offer to repair and restore the old Poston School.
The Fleming County Nature Preserve Project, Amy Kennedy with the Buffalo Trace Area Development District, and Steve Donovan, director for the Fleming County Economic Development, have provided assistance for renovations to the school.
Located alongside the edge of the woods near Browning’s Orchard in rural Fleming County, Poston School was originally a log structure.
“I found a date of 1916 on a piece of wood,” Berry said. “There was a log school here that burned in 1915 and this school was built at the site.”
At the end of the school term in 1953 the Poston School closed and students were sent to a two-room school in the nearby community of Wallingford.
Berry and his students have accomplished quite a bit of work since last October to preserve a slice of local history in the community.
Once work began Berry was surprised to find out how sturdy the old building was despite years of neglect.
“When we started work last summer poison ivy and taken over the place,” Berry said. “We cleared out all the overgrowth and hauled over 100 wheelbarrows of dirt.  One corner of the building had to be raised two feet and the county donated a load of rocks so we could replace the foundation,” Berry said.
Berry attended a one-room school when he was a child and has always wanted to renovate a one-room school.
“When I was in first and second grade my early education took place in a one-room school just outside of Ashland, Kentucky, “Berry said.  I was excited to discover the old Poston School and thrilled with the opportunity to renovate the building. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time,” Berry said.
Most of the exterior and the inside walls are original but a new floor has been added and stained to look authentic.
“We made a mixture of stain for the floor with a gallon of burnt motor oil, kerosene and black paint,” Berry said. “What we ended up with was a blackened, oiled floor that looks just as it would have when students filled this room.”
While Berry and his students labored to remove the damaged part of the old blackboard they discovered a mural hidden beneath the surface.
“As we carefully removed a piece of the blackboard we could see some artwork and writing,” Berry said. “The discovery of the mural was so exciting.  Sixty or seventy years ago one of the students had cut out characters from a coloring book and painted cows on the wall behind the blackboard and they had titled the mural “Before we go to Poston School we bring in the Cows.”
The mural has been sent to be professionally restored and will be brought back to claim its original place at the school.
The windows and doors have also been sent for repairs. The roof has been repaired and a fresh coat of paint has been added to the inside walls.

1 comment:

  1. A story is forth coming, soon as I recover my lost notes from interviews with former students and teachers from the Posten School.