Get to Know: The Weber-Blaess School, Saline's One-Room Schoolhouse

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The Saline Area Historical Society presents a program on the Weber-Blaess School at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 10, at Saline City Hall, 100 N. Harris St.

The following information about the  schoolhouse was contributed by Jim Hoeft.

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. 

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. 

Over 1500 children attend a day of classes and reenactment of a typical day each school year with the majority being 2nd, 3rd & 4th graders. However, private academies, charter schools and home school children plus other districts have utilized the facilities. 

This is a living history museum where visitors pretend they are the students of an earlier time. They dress appropriately, bring lunches of food eaten then and enjoy the games that children would have played. 

Use of the school has also included birthday parties, weddings, showers and meetings which are all arranged through Saline Community Education 734-401-2080. This foundation is a 501c3 and invites any participation from our community.

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