Zachel's school house restoration

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN 

As something grows old and useless, the typical response is to tear it down or throw it away.

When something falls into disrepair, the cost of restoration often leads to the same response as above. Let it continue to fall apart until it needs to be torn down or bordered up. There’s more than one example of that approach on display now in Morenci.

On the other hand, an example of the very opposite approach is visible when heading north out of town. It’s John and Peggy Zachel’s old school house.

A building that hasn’t been in use for 50 years can’t be expected to show much promise, and the school house on their property didn’t look like much for the past few decades. But as their son, Bob, pointed out Sunday at the unveiling of a state historical marker, John kept a good roof on the building over the years and the structural integrity  remained intact.

The Zachels’ decision to restore the old school building goes against the usual response. They sought no grants. They didn’t push to have the school adopted by a historical group. They simply made the choice to save it and make it look “new” again. With the tireless efforts of Jack Sampson and others, the old building has been turned into a shining example of what can happen when someone cares about preserving the past and plunges into a restoration project.

The old building offers a glimpse of what life was like in a one-room school house—a form of education that ended here in the mid-1950s. Now it’s been preserved for future generations, thanks to the generosity of the Zachel family.

  - June 28, 2006
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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