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150-year celebration planned

Becky Vargo • Sep 11, 2017 at 4:00 PM

POLKTON TWP. — The history of a 150-year-old Coopersville-area landmark will be celebrated from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.

The South Evergreen one-room schoolhouse sits near the intersection of 88th Avenue and Leonard Road, where it was originally constructed shortly after the end of the Civil War. From then until 1959, students in kindergarten through eighth grade attended this country school with one teacher for all students.

A committee of local volunteers has raised donations and grants to purchase and preserve the property and its history.

The committee is restoring the schoolhouse to its style at the time of its closure 58 years ago. Since the group began its work, the building has been re-roofed, its belfry removed and completely restored with an authentic school bell, its exterior siding repaired and painted, and its front and rear doors replaced. One of the school’s original outhouses has been reclaimed and once again sits on the property.

All repairs and restoration have been funded by private donations or grants from the Loutit Foundation of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, the Coopersville Area Community Foundation, and the Coopersville Area Youth Advisory Committee of the Coopersville Area Community Foundation. The committee has also engaged Coopersville High School students in projects.

The 150-year celebration will be an afternoon of music, food, local history and raffle prizes. All event proceeds will be donated to the schoolhouse’s renovation fund.

At 1 p.m., live music will be performed by a local group, the Homemade Jam Band. Lunch for purchase will be catered by Ms. Piggies BBQ.

Tickets may be purchased at the event for a homemade pie raffle at 2 p.m (must be present to win). Tickets may also be purchased for a second raffle of prizes donated by local businesses and donors (do not need to be present to win).

Photo exhibits of the schoolhouse’s renovation will be on display and exhibitors will present information about other one-room schoolhouses that were once part of the local landscape. In addition, local vendors will be selling handmade articles.

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