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A Brief History of Diamond Rock Schoolhouse
In 1818, half a century before the advent of public schools in this area, a small community of primarily Mennonite families contributed their labor and money to building this one room schoolhouse and hiring a teacher.

They chose an octagonal plan - at the time a popular architectural concept - because it provided one wall and window for each of the six grades, another for the teacher opposite one for the door. The students sat on benches facing table-like desks against the wall with their backs to the warmth of a small wood-burning stove. As the teacher would address a class, those students would turn around to face the center.

As the population increased, the school closed in 1864 and the pupils were divided between nearby Walker and Salem Village schools.  Gradually the building fell into disprepair until 1909 when a group of former pupils restored it. Their work is continued today by the member-supported Diamond Rock Schoolhouse Preservation Association.


Circa 1907 postcard of schoolhouse prior to restoration.

(From the collection of Peter Brown)