CLASS OF 1901 (FIRST CLASS OF SCHOOLHOUSE 7)
A picture of the first class that opened Schoolhouse 7 back in 1900. Notice that not one student (or teacher) is smiling. Not sure if it was because of the difficult times back then or the amount of time it took to take the picture back.
During our restoration process, we used this photo to make sure the replacement windows matched the original construction. With the front door, we kept the same “look” but wanted to add windows where the solid wood interior panels were in order to bring more natural light in to the cafe.
We also wanted to keep the green space area between our drive-thru lane and the building, since that is the area where the students ate their lunches on nice days. The schoolhouse was hit by tornado in 1947, knocking the bell tower off the roof. We hope to build it back in the future.
This picture has been enlarged and can be found on the first floor of our cafe. Stop by and check it out today!
WHY THE “7”?
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What’s the deal with the 7?” As you may know, our building was a one-room schoolhouse that opened in the Fall of 1900. What you may not know is that when the map of Fall Creek Township was created in 1866, our schoolhouse was supposed to be the 8th school built in the township. For some unknown reason, it became the 7th. If you look just under our front sign, you can see the original concrete nameplate with “No. 7” carved into it.
So, now you know the reason for the 7 and why we felt it was important for us to highlight and capture the “7” in our cafe’s name.
A copy of the Fall Creek Township map of 1866 can be found in our cafe. Come in and check it out!
This was taken in November of 1939 when Schoolhouse #7 had their picture day. This class of 1st through 8th graders is sitting in our present day drive-thru lane and their teacher, Mrs. Annabelle McCord, is standing in front of our drive-thru window. One of the members of this class, Dr. George Underwood, is the boy wearing the glasses in the back row. Dr. Underwood was instrumental in sharing many of his memories of his days at the schoolhouse when we were going through the building phase by providing priceless historic information of his days at the schoolhouse. Dr. Underwood passed away in April of 2020 at the age of 94. As a tribute to him and his family, we named one of our upstairs private event spaces “George’s Study” in his honor.
During the 1930’s, 10 subjects were taught by ONE teacher to 8 different classes at Schoolhouse 7. AMAZING! The teacher had to prepare report cards each month similar to the one shown below. This report card (circa 1938) was provided to us by Dr. George Underwood (1940 Schoolhouse 7 graduate). Love the straight A’s!
TEACHER GIFT TO STUDENTS
This picture was a gift that was given to the first class of Schoolhouse 7. A local resident who had connections to this school provided us this “souvenir” from the first class that attended Schoolhouse 7. It was given by the teacher to each student. This tri-fold souvenir is on display in our George’s Study room.
COAL BURNING STOVES
This picture of the Schoolhouse 7 class of 1937 shows it’s 22 students and teacher. The white building in the back right was their coal storage shed. On cold mornings, the teacher would arrive by 5:30 am to fill the two stoves with coal. She wanted to make sure that the room was warm when the students arrived around 7:00 am. Dr. Underwood shared a story with us about the stoves. He said that on cold days, if students were not on their good behavior, they would be moved to the middle of the classroom. If they were good, they got to sit near the stoves.
When you visit Schoolhouse 7 next, look above and to the right of our fireplace and you will see some uneven bricks. These bricks were set this way intentionally as a way to mark the location of where the stove’s exhaust pipe exited the building. This is just one of the many touches we made during our renovation, to tell the history of this one room classroom converted into a modern day, neighborhood cafe.
This shows the bus that would pick up the students of Schoolhouse 7 during the 1930’s. The bus driver in this picture is Guy Whelchel, the grandfather to Charles Whelchel, a 1942 graduate of Schoolhouse 7. You may recognize the name because the subdivision across the street from the cafe, Whelchel Springs, was named after the family. The students would be dropped off and picked up each day near our drive-thru window, and our driveway off of Cyntheanne Road is the same driveway that the bus used to drop off and pick up the students.
Dr. Underwood and Charles Whelchel both informed me that there was no such thing as 2 hour delays or snow days. The kids went no matter the weather conditions.