Western Bradford Notebook: Committee takes on project; Armenia Township school house focus of attention
ARMENIA TWP. - A clock ticking away the hours is one of the few reminders of the present when you gaze inside the old Armenia School House.
On Monday, I made the steep drive up Fallbrook Road onto Armenia Mountain to take a look at the school house.
Mallory Babcock, the township secretary, informed me of a project that's in the planning stages to renovate the old building. Although I had attended township meetings in the old school previously, I wanted to get a fresh look at it.
Peering through the glass windows of the front door, I could see a pot-bellied stove in the center of the room, its sides bulging out like a hoop skirt. Children's desks from many years ago sat against a wall.
Mallory explained that the proposed project is aimed at renovating the building so it can be used by the public again. A group of individuals is planning the work.
"The committee has to make the decision on what to use it for," Mallory said. "Right now, they're thinking of a little museum of things regarding Armenia Mountain and the school."
She said it needs a new roof and painting, the siding needs to be finished, and it probably could use a new floor.
"It absolutely needs to have some repairs done to it, or we're going to lose the building," she said. Mallory noted that it goes back many years, though she's not sure the exact date when it was built. She said it was once called the Burnham School, and it's now owned by the township, though it's no longer used.
Currently, the committee is researching the history of the building.
In addition to Mallory, the committee includes Nicole Harris, Beth Horning, Marcene Billingsley, Abby Werlock, Carol Christman, and Donna Wandell. They will next meet at 6:30 p.m. on March 6 at Nicole's house at Rundell Creek Road. For more information, call Mallory at 297-5025. The meeting is open to the public. Mallory said the more people who are involved, the better.
"The committee looks forward to working with the Board of Supervisors with the common goal of creating a use for the building for the public to enjoy while preserving its historical value," Mallory said.
She said it's one of the focal points of the community.
"It's right across from the township building. It's on the main road where everyone sees it when they come into the township."
"We're looking for anyone who may have attended it, who may have old photos of it, any memorabilia they might have from it, anything that might give us some direction on which way to go with it," she said.
And what about that old pot-bellied stove?
Mallory said it "will definitely stay there, if nothing except for aesthetic purposes."
They also plan to keep the original blackboards and desks.
"We have quite a bit to work with," she commented.
She noted that one of the Scott brothers even has his initials carved into one of the desks.
"I think the committee is hoping people can walk in and see what a one-room schoolhouse looks like," Mallory said regarding the building's future use. She thought it would be a good place to house township histories, family histories, and histories of the businesses, churches, government, and prominent families in the township.
She said they're even considering having an old horse-drawn road grader sit outside.
So, wish them luck - or better yet, give them some help.
Do you have an idea for the Western Bradford Notebook? You can reach Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.