Zachel's school house restoration

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.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.