Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Puckerbrush School gets a workout

Puckerbrush School (also known as Pleasant Ridge) got a workout Monday morning --- as did Marilyn, Char and Frank (its Lucas County Historical Society minders) --- as 60 or more guests in two groups, young and older, utilized the museum campus.

We were really happy to host the Lucas County Retired Teachers Association as members gathered in the school for their first meeting of a new program year. As it happened, I was the program --- discussing the history of Puckerbrush and rural schools in general in Lucas County. The group's business meeting --- and sack lunches --- followed.

Although several of the retired teachers present had attended country schools in childhood, only one had taught in a one-roomer before consolidation during the 1960s made the 80 or more buildings that once dotted the rural landscape redundant. Puckerbrush, built in 1874 and moved to the museum from Ottercreek Township in 1968, is the only survivor still furnished and functioning --- occasionally --- as a school.

Meanwhile, more than 20 home-school students and their moms from Knoxville spent the morning at the museum, enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds --- then took over the school as the retired teachers were leaving.

This group brought along a special guest, Carole (Penick) Gullion, who had attended school at Puckerbrush when she was growing up in northwest Lucas County and was able to share many memories with the youngsters and their mothers.

One of the students --- Jonathan (and yes, I've forgotten his last name) --- gave some of our musical instruments a workout.

He proved that the Archie Beals pump organ in Otterbein Church still works (sort of).

Then demonstrated that the parlor piano in the Stephens House can still make music, too (although it really needs to be tuned).

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the last day of the regular open season at the museum. It's been a great year with hundreds of guests and we're grateful to the volunteers who keep us on track when guests arrive.

Kathleen will keep the office open with regular hours one day a week --- Tuesdays --- during the off-season, Marilyn and her curatorial crew will continue their work as usual and chances are many of the rest of the usual crew of board members and volunteers will be on campus frequently.

You're always welcome to stop in, but if you'd like a full tour of the museum during the off-season, please call ahead to make arrangements. We don't want you to be disappointed.

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