Lysander schoolhouse cornerstone discovered

Lysander Fire Department plans picnic dedication for this summer

The schoolhouse that served the Lysander hamlet for over 75 years will come full circle this summer.

The Lysander Union Schoolhouse, District No. 17, was built on Lamson Road in the hamlet of Lysander in 1890. When it closed back in 1966, it was the last rural school in the town of Lysander still in operation. The firehouse of the Lysander Volunteer Fire Department now sits in the same spot where the school once was.

In a twist of fate, the memory of the schoolhouse will be honored this summer by the very same folks who were asked to destroy the vacant building during a practice burn-down back in 1973. At its annual community picnic on Sunday July 18, the fire department will dedicate one of the cornerstones from the former schoolhouse.

Jack Kline of the fire department called me a few weeks back to give me the news. Since I had featured the former school last year in both my column and my book, the folks at the fire department thought that I should know. I asked Jack the most obvious question first: "Where in the world did you find the cornerstone?" He chuckled, and then proceeded to tell me his tale.

"Well, we had to have some excavating done awhile ago out back behind the firehouse. One of the guys was digging when his blade hit something big. It was a huge block of stone. Based on its size and location, it had to be one of the cornerstones of the original schoolhouse. It had sat buried there just below ground all these years, and just a few feet from the corner of our present building." Jack then asked me to join the dedication committee and, of course, I readily agreed.

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