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.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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