The Elementary School Building in OH was demolished in 1976

Minerva Grade School, Minerva Ohio
Date added: June 21, 2024 Categories:

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The Minerva Union School was the oldest public building surviving in Minerva, having been in continuous use for 102 years, first as an educational and recreational facility for 59 years, then as a private warehouse. For many years it served students from four counties, Carroll, Stark, Columbiana and Tuscarawas. Between 1908 and 1926 pupils commuted to school by railroad within a radius of 20 to 30 miles. The building is also an unusually good example of a public building in the High Victorian Italianate style.

On June 24th, 1870, the Union School Committee purchased 2.25 acres from the Samuel Unkefer farm for $1,400. The school building was completed in 1871 by contractors George Yingling and Jarrett Unkefer. The Minerva Union School housed both elementary and secondary grades. Under Prof. F.D. Cameron, the school was graded in 1879, and the 4 year high school achieved a Grade A rating with a staff of three teachers in English, Science and Commercial subjects. The first commencement took place in 1886. An addition was constructed to accommodate increased enrollment in 1896.

The first home of the Minerva Public Library opened in the school building in 1911, remaining until 1916. The first Boy and Girl Scout troops met in the school, and in September 1914, the Tri-County Normal School conducted classes in the southwest second-floor room. In 1914 the high school moved to a new building, and in 1937 the Union School was closed as a primary school. For the next three years, the building was used for community recreational activities, sponsored by the W.P.A.

In 1940 the Board of Education sold the building for use as a furniture warehouse. Since 1949 the building has been used as a commercial warehouse by the Five-Star Distributing Company and the Minerva Wax Paper Company. The belfry was removed by the owner, Mr. Abe Reid, in 1965, and the bell is stored on his property. The building was purchased by the the Village of Minerva on March 26th, 1973, with .992 acres.

The Village demolished the school on October 7th, 1976.

Building Description

This is a large two-story brick school building in the High Victorian Italianate style, cross-shaped in plan and measuring 76' x 122'. The north wing (58' x 76') was constructed in 1871. The south wing was added in 1896.

An octagonal open belfry with a cupola which originally stood over the north entrance was removed in 1965.

The windows of both stories are arched, with stone keystones, and the same pattern was continued in the later addition. The brick courses under the eaves are corbeled. The wide eaves are supported by elaborate wooden brackets. Portions of the eaves have been lost through decay. The roof is tin. The foundations are sandstone, smoothly dressed on the north wing, and heavily rusticated on the south wing.

There is a full basement under the south wing. There are structural cast-iron columns on the interior. The interior is badly deteriorated. The plaster ceilings of the second story have collapsed, and the timber roof structure is exposed. Some partition walls have been removed, so that the entire second floor of the cross arm of the plan (40' x 76') is one great room. A portion of the second floor was damaged by a small electrical fire, but the structure is sound.

Minerva Grade School, Minerva Ohio  (1973)

Minerva Grade School, Minerva Ohio  (1973)