Old Fashion Ice Cream Social Returns to Weber Blaess One Room School House Aug. 21

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One of Saline's back-to-school traditions is back!

The Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation hosts an old fashion ice cream social at the Weber Blaess One-Room School from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21. The public is invited.

The one-room school, owned by the Saline Area Schools district, is located at 520 Woodland Drive, near Woodland Meadows Elementary School.

From the moment one steps through the white board fence surrounding the Weber Blaess One-Room School, you can enjoy homemade ice cream with a variety of toppings as ladies with white gloves and parasols leisurely stroll the grounds on August 21, 2022 from 1-4 p.m. 

Grilled hot dogs will also be served and there will be musical entertainment.

There will also be reenactments to provide an opportunity for young and old to experience what a school day might have been like in the early 20th Century.

Classroom reenactments of a typical day in a one-room school will give insight into the teachings and discipline of a young maiden teacher to her students using the McGuffey Readers and slateboards. 

Children will enjoy playing the games that a 1900’s recess would have included such as hopscotch, graces, stilts and many more. A craft area will also be available. The Saline Area Fire Department will conduct a bucket brigade to demonstrate an 1800s firefighting method of transporting water to put out a blaze. All of these activities have no admission charge

Twist and Shout the Clown, face painters and Saline High musical groups will be providing entertainment and Saline Community Fair youth will exhibit animals.  The Saline Fair Board will also be present to promote the fair and explain displays and exhibits at the fair.

Proceeds from this event will provide for maintenance of the building inside and out. The white board fence surrounding the property plus exterior doors will all be upgraded this summer. Curriculum needs are not extensive but with over 1500 children visiting the school on an annual basis, materials are needed for their projects and activities.

The Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation, founded in 2001, has a mission to support the history of Saline Schools with an emphasis on the one-room school era. Over 1800 students visit the school annually supporting the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade Social Studies standards. During their day at the school, students experience a typical day of the 1870-1920’s in these schools by learning the lessons, eating the lunches and playing the games that rural children experienced. This interactive museum is a highly effective learning tool for all types of students.

On June 19, 2002, Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation moved Weber-Blaess School from the original location near the corner of Gensley and Ellsworth Road, Lodi Township, according to Jim Hoeft.

Known as District 13 school, it was rebuilt in 1869 after the log building was destroyed by fire. The school remained as a one-room school until the mid-1950s. Both men and women served as teachers but many were young single women who boarded with local families. One such individual was Clara Blaess Gale, the daughter of a prominent school board trustee, who also attended this school as a student. See her diploma in the annex of Weber-Blaess.

The schoolhouse was donated by the Milton and Janet Weber Weidmayer family. Restoration followed the move and with $175.000 in grants, private donations, fundraising and in-kind work, the school opened for Saline Area School students in the fall of 2004.

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