Ayrshire Schools

This is the story of the condemnation of the Ayrshire Schools taken from the 1910 Annual Report of the State Board of Health. The books are full of schools being condemned.  I think they had to be condemned in order to get the money from the state to rebuild or remodel?  

 Also I have included a few photos shared by Jackie Willis Houchins of early Ayrshire Schools in the 1930s.   These are in the “new” brick building that is still standing in Ayrshire as a home.  I wrote the information down somewhere that Jackie had given me of a few names in the pictures, but I am too organized and cannot find it 🙂  Maybe Jackie, her brother and others will read this and add a comment of who some of the kids are.  

New Note:  I am so organized I actually had the names listed on the jpeg 🙂  So I will add those and any other names as people let me know.

Annual Report of the Indiana State Board of Health 1910  Pg 62

Petition:  Ayrshire, Ind., September 16, 1908

This is to certify that we, the undersigned patrons of schools at Ayrshire, Pike County, Ind., do hereby request that the State Board of Health investigate the sanitary conditions of our schoolhouse.

Signed as follows:  A.J. Hedges, H.S. Hughes, U.G. Wiley, George Pickle, Alfred Adams, George Vanlaningham, James A. Spyers, F.B. Browder, Gus Harier, A. Sermerskeim, Samuel Tisdol, F.O. Woodrey,  Edward E. Woolsey, Geo. Benedict, I.H. Eanes, A. Lanzo Dean, John Barlow, Isaac Coffa (these are the spellings in the book)

Report of inspection of Ayrshire Schools, Pike County, January 5, 1909 by John Owens:

Buildings:  Three one room, frame:  two shingle roof, one iron, the latter the colored school.  Two of the buildings, the white schools, occupy the same lot, one half-acre, high, dry, clay soil.  Building in which upper grades are held, should be condemned outright.  The other white school building could be repainted and enlarged to accommodate the upper grades and the colored school should be repainted.  The whole town is dirty and derelict.  Mining is the industry.

White Schools:

Grades 1,2, and 3:  Seats single and double, all sizes:  badly scarred.  Ceiling and walls wood, unpainted.  Pupils face south; blackboard on south; Nine foot ceiling.  Vestibule 10 x 8 feet.  Forty five pupils in room.  Each pupil has 13 feet of floor space.  Light space one-ninth of floor space.  Open well, typhoid fever in schools a year ago.  Blackboards on north and south sides.

Grades 4,5,6,7, and 8:  Pupils:  30; face north.  Seats double, bad.  Ceiled with wood, not painted.  Floor bad.  Flue smoky.  Buildings one to two feet from ground, no foundations.  Outhouses bad.  All doors 3 x 7 feet.  Each pupil has 20 square feet of floor space.  Light area one-ninth of floor area.  General conditions bad.

Colored Schools, Ayrshire:

Pupils, 15.  Face west.  Board on west.  Tin roof.  No foundation; props; two feet from ground.  No well.  Closets bad.  Ceiling and walls plain boards, unpainted.  Each pupil has 24 square feet floor space.   Light area one-fifth of floor area.  Seats all sizes, single and double, badly scarred.

These buildings are in keeping with the town.

Proclamation of Condemnation

Whereas, it has been shown to satisfaction of the State Board of Health, that the schoolhouse at Ayrshire, Pike County, Indiana, is unsanitary and consequently threatens the health and life of the pupils, and also interferes with their efficiency, therefore, it is ordered that said schoolhouse at Ayrshire, Pike county, Indiana is condemned for school purposes and shall not be used for said school purposes after June 1, 1909 and if any school trustee, or trustees, any teacher or any person uses said schoolhouse for school purposes, or teaches therein, after the date above mentioned, he or she or they shall be prosecuted.  Any person mutilating or tearing down this proclamation shall be prosecuted.

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1937 – 38 Ayrshire Grade School.  2nd Row:  third girl, Jackie Willis.  3rd Row:  last boy, Fred Willis.

Ayrshire School 1937-38 Upper Classes

Ayrshire School 1937-38 Upper Classes

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Ayrshire Grade School Early 1930s.  The teacher is Lucille Amos Donham.  2nd Row:  5th girl, dark hair, Jackie Willis, boy on end Fred Willis.

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The Coal Miner’s Cry Book

Normally I would not post anything for sale on here, but it is so rare to find one of these books of our coal mining history for sale on Ebay.  Or anywhere for that matter.  I have one and if you are interested in Pike County Coal Mining History and do not have one, now’s your chance.  The students at Pike Central High School put it together and published it in 1999.  I highly recommend it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Coal-Miners-Cry-Pike-County-Indiana-1835-1999-MINING-COAL-MINES-HISTORY-/261743189058?ssPageName=ADME%3ASS%3ASS%3AUS%3A3160

The Coal Miner's Cry

The Coal Miner’s Cry

Just Some More Winslow Grocery Store History

I purchased my second calendar plate from one of the many grocery stores that Winslow had nearly a hundred years ago.

There seemed to be a store every block or two.  Usually in someone’s home.

This one is a 1918 Calendar plate from S. Tary Cash Grocery in Winslow.  I think it is really gorgeous.  I do not know where this store was.

S. Tary Grocery, 1919 Calendar Plate, Winslow, Indiana

S. Tary Grocery, 1918 Calendar Plate, Winslow, Indiana

Also check out this blog for a little of the Richardson family history.

https://jaredspaceship.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/ira-richardson/

This is a photo of Ira Richardson’s store in Winslow.

Ira Richardson's Store in Winslow.

Ira Richardson’s Store in Winslow.

Fall in the State Forest

We took a drive out to the State Forest for this years Fall photos.

One day the Old Iron Bridge at Survant will be gone.  The county will be moving it to Petersburg as a walkover bridge.  I am glad they are preserving it, rather than seeing it end up in the scrap heap somewhere.

 

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A stop at Augusta Lake

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Waterfall at Augusta Lake

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Augusta Lake Reflections

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Reds

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Old Iron Bridge at Survant

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River and the Old Iron Bridge

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Old Iron Bridge Fall Colors

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Old Iron Bridge

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River Rocks and tracks at Survant

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Fire Barn

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Old Fire Tower

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Fire Tower Colors

Forest Path

Forest Path

Old Massey or Loveless Cemetery: A Guest Post

My friend Amber Ball and I met almost two years ago.  We have wandered all over this area taking photos and seeking stories.  The Patoka River Wildlife Refuge is our favorite haunt.  Amber also writes a blog and posts the most amazing photos.  You should check her out here, and links are always posted to the right of my blog.

Last weekend amid our busy lives we found time to visit a local field of sunflowers and enjoy the waves of yellow that attract butterflies and birds.

Sunflower field

Sunflower field

My July was so hectic and Amber has graciously offered a guest post for my blog.  Last fall we went in search of the Old Massey Cemetery, sometimes known as Loveless Cemetery.  Here is her blog post about that day.

 

An Anniversary, And An Interesting Find
In the summer of 2012, I came across a beautifully written blog about the history of our area (you can find it HERE), and struck up what has become a great friendship with the writer.  On our first outing together was just over a year ago; we struck out to try and find a small cemetery that didn’t exist on any maps; the historical websites listed a couple of interments, but no coordinates on how to find it, so we set off with only a general suggestion of the area from someone who claimed to have come across the stones years before.  Needless to say we were unsuccessful; but that trip has opened the door to dozens of other excursions and finds that I otherwise would never have viewed, so I am extremely thankful for it :).

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Last weekend at the Columbia Mine ceremony, I noticed two lakes on the map named Loveless Lake and Old Massey Lake that were not too far from the area we were originally searching, so I asked refuge manager Bill McCoy if he knew how the lakes had gotten their names, and that we were searching for a cemetery with a similar name.  To my surprise, he said he knew exactly where it was!  He pointed out the location on the map I had and I immediately pulled out my phone and sent Rose a text so we could set up another excursion.  Inexplicably, the area is next to a lake named Indian Hill Lake (because of an indian burial mound in the area), and NOT next to Loveless or Old Massey Lakes, but we were determined to find it for once and for all.

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So today, despite the falling temperature and the gusty winds, we set out for parts unknown.  Down the road to Indian Hill Lake and around, we were excited to see lots of deer, coyote, and even bobcat tracks!  There were several dead fish in the water, and lots of spots around the edge where large fish had been hauled out, scaled, and eaten.  Every ten feet or so, we came across turtle shells, crawfish shells, catfish heads, and all manner of carnivore leftovers.  We followed some animal paths for a ways around the lake but had to forge our own for quite some distance, and I can tell you with great certainty that the briars are alive and well around there!  But finally, we got around the point of the lake to the area we were looking for, and we entered the woods.

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We trudged around the ridge for ten minutes or so with no luck and were starting to think we’d never find it, when I looked down and noticed…vinca, everywhere!  Vinca vine, sometimes called periwinkles because of the pretty blue flowers it has in the spring.  Vinca is often a clue that you’re near an old cemetery; I’ve read that it was planted as a groundcover, to mark the graves of infants, because it has a religious significance, or several other reasons depending on who you’re talking to…but we knew when we saw it that we were close!  After our excitement renewed and we searched just a little farther…

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…and WE FOUND IT!!!   This is the stone of James S. Loveless, b 9-9-1865 d 1-1-1901.  It’s the only stone we found, but we think perhaps we’ll revisit in early spring once the winter weather has mashed down all of the now freshly-fallen leaves, maybe we’ll see others then.  Of last report, there were three stones remaining; but it was so cool to finally find this!  I signed up for an account on newspaperarchive.com to see if there were any mentions of James or how he passed but have not yet been able to locate anything; but I’m thinking I might use some excerpts from those old papers here from time to time because they’re just plain interesting.

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If you happen to be searching for it yourself, here’s a map of about where you’ll find it; it’s on the very edge of Sycamore land, and when you’re standing at James’ stone, you can see the edge of the field that is on the private land just to the west.  The large lake in the center of the photo is Indian Hill Lake on the Sycamore maps.  Once we get a warmer day, I believe we’ll be heading back to see if we can get a glimpse of the deer, coyotes, and bobcats we saw such evidence of on the lake edge…but until then, have a great weekend!!

Edit: If you’re heading out that way and GPS coordinates would help, this should get you close: 38.376707,-87.311335.  Be sure to wear some orange, because the private land immediately adjacent is a hunting camp and they have blinds/stands set up on the edge of the field just feet away from the stone(s).  And be prepared for briars!!!!

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