Morton School Recent Happenings

photo courtesy of Carol Stauffer Pritchett

Morton One Room School Reunion - August 24, 2002

The 2002 annual reunion of students from the Morton, Will, and Gamble
One Room Schools was held at the newly restored Morton Schoolhouse.
The schoolhouse was inspected inside and out by former students,
classmates, and spouses. School pictures, class room artifacts, and
memorabilia were displayed and initiated much discussion.
photo courtesy of Carol Stauffer Pritchett

After a delicious carry in meal, the former students related their one
room school experiences and how well these schools prepared them
for their life's adventures.

Plans are being made for this year's 2003 reunion which will be
held on Saturday August 23, 2003.

Open House - August 25, 2002
August 25, 2003 was also an important date in the rebirth of Morton School.
It was on that hot and dusty Sunday afternoon that the Morton One Room
School Historical Museum opened its doors for the first time to the
general public.

Hundreds of people poured through the doors and for the first time in over 40
years got to see the inside of the area landmark. For the older visitors it was
one of those rare opportunities in life where one gets a glimpse at past youth,
and for the young it was an opportunity to confirm that "olden days" did exist.
Old photos, grade cards and class souvenirs of Morton School and
other area schools were popular items. Some took the opportunity to
sit in one of the old school desks and review some of the many volumes
of school books, a few dating back to the Civil War era. Comparisons
were made with current text books and school curriculum.
Many visitors lingered and shared memories with others who were also
reliving pleasant and sometime humorous experiences as they examined
the articles on display. Most left with smiles on their faces.
We hope to see them all again this year when we have our Second
Annual Open House on August 24, 2003.

Installation of the Front Enclosure
Last year late in the Fall, before the snow flew, construction of the
front enclosure began. The design for the enclosure was taken from
an early picture of Morton Schoolhouse that depicted what was
probably the first enclosure to be placed on the building.
The enclosure appears to have been first added just at the end of
WWI. A 1917 picture shows the schoolhouse without an enclosure
and a photo taken c. 1918 reveals the schoolhouse with a shedroof
style enclosure with a doorway centered in the front.
The enclosure is still in the finishing process, since it still requires
a door to be added to fully protect the front door from the prevailing
weather from the south. Perhaps this will be done in the up-coming
Summer months.

Morton Halloween Event
The Spooks and Goblins weren't here, but we did have a
Magician who charmed our visitors whether young or old.
Ryan Deitsch's close-up magic baffled most of those who
tried to follow his nimble fingers.
We also had some tasty treats for those who braved the
cold weather. But most of all, we made some new friends
and enjoyed talking with many we have known for a good

Rear Sloping Sidewalk and Handrails
For easier and safer acessibility for all those who might wish to
visit Morton Schoolhouse, a very slightly sloped sidewalk was
added to the rear of the building. The reverse - folded design
allows for the gentle slope and uses a minumum of scarce
real estate.
The sidewalk was poured, literally the day before the first
cold spell, with snow and blowing winds trying to remove
the straw and tarps protecting the curing concrete.
After several weeks, the weather warmed and the removal of
the tarps and straw revealed that the concrete cured with
no long lasting effects from the cold weather.
The sturdy and decorative handrails were added this Spring.
There is still a bit of landscape work to be done to blend the
concrete with the yard area. Perhaps some plantings of flowers
and small shrubs will be done in the near future to complete
the project.

Holidays at the Schoolhouse

This year we had the pleasure of being asked to be a part of the Holiday
Parade of Homes for the Shelby area. A 10 foot Christmas tree was
placed in the back corner of the schoolhouse and decorated as it
would have been 100 years ago. It brought back many memories of
Christmas' past that our older relatives have related on many occasions.
We were fortunate to have several Morton School graduates (above) who
participated in the prepartions as well as the open house event. Comments
from the many visitors indicated that they too enjoyed the thoughts that
were aroused by the "Old Fashioned Holiday Event".
We hope to make this a regular event on our calendar in the years ahead!

The First Classes to Attend Morton Schoolhouse
The most important events to occur in these recent months, has to have been
the arrival at the schoolhouse of the first student classes to attend
Morton School in 30 years. In the month of April of 2003, several classes of
expectant students spent a portion of their school day sitting in seats that
have not held students for decades.
From the comments of those who were in attendance, it was an enjoyable,
educational experience that will be long remember by students, teachers, and
our staff as well. These classes will be the first of many more that will
continue this Fall and in the years ahead.
For more pictures of our first classes
click on the school names below:

 Shiloh 1st Class

Shelby History

 Shiloh 2nd Class

If you have further questions on the Morton One Room School Events, or if you would
like to add to the page, please email us.
Copyright © 2003 Morton One Room School Historical Society. Inc.