Saving a Schoolhouse!!
In Clearwater, Florida, a small band of heroes educates the public about the importance of history. Clearwater has the second oldest schoolhouse in Florida. The Clearwater society currently is protecting five buildings on five acres. The front building was built in 1906, and the second building became the first public high school in 1912. The third and fourth buildings came later, which served as a Kindergarten and a cafeteria. When discussing the Clearwater Historical Society's mission, Allison Dolan, the President she said that when you preserve a house, it is like recycling a place.
Before Covid, Clearwater Historical society played host to local nursing homes to have picnics on the lawn. Of course, COVID has changed many things globally, and Clearwater's historical society is no exemption. Due to most of the members being of older age and the staff being reduced. They opened the doors for the first time in June of 2019 and closed in March 2020. All events for 2020, was canceled, and in 2021, the events had to be reimagined for outdoors.
The Clearwater Historical Society is raising money for grants to preserve and repair the schoolhouse buildings to their original state. The North and South buildings are currently in use as the North building serves as a museum. The South building serves as a library housing books from the school and yearbooks. Some needed repairs are painting, new floors, roof repairs, ceiling repair, and new carpet.
If you want to tour the North building, you must call and make an appointment. Masks are required throughout the tour, and the group size is reduced. The building is also dog friendly, which is excellent. If you are interested in becoming a member, for 1,000 dollars, you can be a member of the Settler Program.
Clearwater Historical Society has had many exciting exhibits recently, including a Christmas in Clearwater exhibit, Let's Eat; highlighting all the local eateries in Clearwater, and currently hosting Women of Clearwater; highlighting activists that call Clearwater home. January also hosted Jazz festivals.
Clearwater has a far to go but is slowly repairing and educating people about the importance of saving our buildings. After all, buildings tell a story through the walls about how people lived.