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Man had no idea what he was sitting on

Old 1800s Schoolhouse Discovered


A 19th century one-room schoolhouse believed to be long gone has actually been in plain sight all along.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, the West Virginian schoolhouse may actually predate West Virginia itself, and would have been better preserved if it wasn't for the fact that it was under the guise of a barn.

The property's owner, Nelson Pigg, became aware of the structure's original use last week while in the process of demolishing the building.

He pulled back a number of sheets of tin and boards from the facing and found old chestnut logs that had been preserved from the elements.

Now Pigg is faced with two questions: First, how old is the schoolhouse? Second, what will he do with it?

Pigg plans on searching the area for any sign of a date, whether it be carvings or an old dated coin.

But as far as the future of the building, he says that chestnut wood is worth good money.

And if the wood's value is greater than its historic value, he might just sell off the logs. Either way, Pigg would like the old schoolhouse removed from his property.

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pip9550 April 23 2014 at 9:36 AM

It seems to me that if this log schoolhouse predates the state, then there should be some national historical societies around that would be interested in preserving it (and even paying for it at least at the value of the wood to save a national historical site).

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2 replies
glmuralist pip9550 April 23 2014 at 9:46 AM

As the director of a small historic society here in upstate New York, if alternate solutions for saving and relocating this structure fail to materialize, please consider contacting me here at the Henderson Historical Society in Henderson, NY.
I would bring this situation to my board of directors and discuss the potential for having it sited up here on our small campus. A rigorous investigation for the logistics involved and funding sources for dismantling and rebuilding it on a protected site would ensue.
Obviously, the important historical nature of this one room school house is worth the effort.
Garrett McCarthy

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matilda524 pip9550 April 23 2014 at 10:24 AM

They could possible rebuild it somewhere else.

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pako58 April 23 2014 at 12:35 PM

Save the historic structure!

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Janice April 23 2014 at 9:13 AM

Too bad that Mr. Pigg feels that way about history. It would be nice to see it preserved.

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1 reply
Brian Hope Janice April 23 2014 at 9:23 AM

Don't you know that in this country, especially among Tea-Party jihadists, ignorance of history is considered a political virtue?

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sentimentiques April 23 2014 at 12:46 PM

I understand the message on the video to be that he's hoping someone, who is interested in history and preservation, will come forward to remove it from his property. If he really wanted to destroy it, he would have done so quietly and sold the valuable wood. He seems, instead, to be mindful of history and hopes it will be of use to history-minded individuals or organizations, so he gets my praise for that effort. He had the smarts to get the news people involved who would spread the word and get some action going. Let's hope it works.

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Jacks magic mojo April 23 2014 at 12:49 PM

Any building that shows us the past is worth keeping. If it turns out to be of significant lore value, be it a school, house, or whatever- it should be kept for future generations to see, SMITHSONIAN & NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HAVE EXPERTS WHO CAN DETERMIN IT'S WORTH TO HISTORY.

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keithdelliott April 23 2014 at 12:50 PM

The incomplete and inadequate story says NOTHING about how or why he determined that it was an old schoolhouse. The photo shows an old students desk, but not from the early 1800s. Did they find a chalkboard? Looks like a barn to me, Mr. Pigg.

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gympossum April 23 2014 at 9:10 AM

I bet any student college anthropologists would love to have the opportunity to intern that building this summer with a professor to date that building. Now that would be interesting.

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jcjc128 April 23 2014 at 12:52 PM

maybe the whole building can be moved somewhere

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catsmeow095 April 23 2014 at 9:08 AM

It's his property and he should do what he wants with the schoolhouse. It's his decision alone.

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1 reply
Joy catsmeow095 April 23 2014 at 9:15 AM

it is his property and building but historically i think it should be purchased by a museum or someone who will fix it up. So much of history people don't know about.

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CHANDRA April 23 2014 at 9:04 AM

Genesee Country Museum in Mumford NY removes historical buildings and resets them in their museum that is open to the public. It is like an old village.

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1 reply
girlgundy CHANDRA April 23 2014 at 9:17 AM

this is the best idea, so good to know an opportunity to preserve is somewhere possible

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1 reply
Diane girlgundy April 23 2014 at 12:16 PM

There are living history museums in most states. Off the top of my head: There is one in Gainesville, FL, one in Newberry, FL, one in Boone, NC, one near Macon, GA, one in the eastern part of TN, one next to the Garden of the Gods, in Colorado --- I am sure there are hundreds of others.

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