The Stanhope School Project Vision
The goal of the Stanhope School Project is to bring the schoolhouse back to life. The vision is to open the schoolhouse so the public can learn about education in that era through experiential activities. This is the only one-room school open to the public in Schuylkill County.
A Short Timeline of the
Education Returns to the Schoolhouse
Schoolhouse open once a month from May - September for Museum hours and in May, July, and September for educational programs
Grand Re-Opening Celebration
Grand Re-Opening celebration and first community educational program held.
Floor Restoration Completed
The wood is wonderful underneath all the dirt!
COVID halted restoration efforts except for the removal of a few trees. Planning for current and future projects continued remotely for the safety of volunteers.
Turn on the Lights
electric installation, prepare
and paint interior walls,
and restore windows.
Eagle Scout project to insulate and replace interior walls and ceiling and
run new electric wiring.
Inside and Out
restoration and painting began.
Eagle Scout project to prepare the interior for restoration.
Pinegrove Historical Society takes ownership of Stanhope School with Linda Mills and Anne DiLorenzo co-chairs. Roof repaired with 430 volunteer hours by Team Orwigsburg at a cost of $3,381.
Stanhope School closed
by Pine Grove School District
in accord with one-room school consolidation efforts.
From the Ashes to Rebuilding
by fire during school year
on October 22, 1923 and
rebuilt in March 1924.
Brick Stanhope School built.
A More Detailed History
Proposal to Girl Scouts of Eastern PA Council to save the Stanhope School from demolition was submitted by Linda Mills.
Pinegrove Historical Society Board does an inspection tour of the schoolhouse.
Stanhope School Program presented by John Ziegler at the Society's monthly program.
Pinegrove Historical Society Board votes to purchase the Stanhope School for $1 plus closing costs.
Pinegrove Historical Society takes ownership of Stanhope School with Linda Mills and Anne DiLorenzo co-chairs. Closing costs total $2,618.
Saving the One-Room School Program was Society's monthly program.
October 23 - November 8
Roof repaired with 430 volunteer hours by Team Orwigsburg at a cost of $3,381.
Tina Keefer takes over as co-chair and Keith Copeland designs logo and T-shirt designs.
May – August
Kutztown University history major intern, Christopher Cooper researches and writes a paper on the some of the former students.
August - September
Exterior wood replaced by Larry Hoffman, Phil Hoffman, Donny Hoffman and exterior painting by Ken Snyder.
Acquired 1883-1893 Stanhope School Teacher’s Record from Nancy Yocum Schaeffer.
December 2015 - March 2016
Brad Bowers, Pine Grove Boy Scout Troop 611, Eagle Scout Project to prepare the interior for restoration and run new electric wiring at a cost of $868 using 25 volunteers providing a total of 423 volunteer hours. Dave Thompson served as a consultant for this project. PPL volunteers Joe Lescavage and Rick Madiera connect new electric service.
August - October 2016
Jeremy McGrath of Pine Grove Boy Scout Troop 611 completed his Eagle Scout project by installing insulation in the walls, new drywall to the walls and ceiling.
Students Luke Cline, Gina Naseef, Gino Pambianchi, and Hannah Faber of the Kutztown University Communication Design Department updated the Stanhope School logo, designed a brochure, two posters, and business cards during the 24-hour Designathon event.
May - July 2017
George Stralkus, Mike Galavage, Jane Kruse, and Janet Krammes spackled, sanded, and painted the interior walls and ceiling. Solar Innovations installed a two-sided glass enclosure to show off a section of the original wall. Girl Scout Troop 70002 from Myerstown assisted with sanding and painting trim providing 65 volunteer hours of the 400 volunteer hours this season.
July 6 and July 22, 2017
First "Restoration in Progress" open house events held to celebrate the third year of restoration work.
George Stralkus, Mike Galavage, Jane Kruse restore the two coatrooms and flooring under the stove.
May - August
For the first time since restoration began, the windows were able to be opened after George Stralkus and Jane Kruse restored the interior windows.
Former Stanhope students Janet Lengel Miller, Patricia Lengel Weckle, Betty Zimmerman Wolf and John Ziegler attend "Restoration in Progress" event and reminisced with Wes Cipolla from the Pottsville Republican Herald. That story became part of an Associated Press story published in more than 108 newspapers across the United States.
The COVID pandemic stops restoration efforts except for having several trees removed in preparation for future landscaping and parking lot work.
Restoration continued with the floor being scrubbed and polyurethane coated, two blackboards being painted with chalkboard paint until slate can be installed, interior doors put back in place, and the stove cover put back in place thanks to Linda Mills, Jane Kruse, George Stralkus, Mike Galavage, Kevin Derfler, Scott Derfler, John Bebelheimer, and Steve Sholl.
Historical research began using student information from the 1883-1893 Teacher's Book /Attendance Record; issues of the Schuylkill County Herald (1870s-1880s), Pinegrove Herald (1880s-1930s), and Press-Herald (1930s-1950s); and information on the village of Stanhope. Cheryl Schneck and Linda Mills continue to work on this research.
A new website and Instagram page, and updated Facebook page went live. It was developed by Mike Moyer with the assistance of Tina Keefer and Linda Mills.
Annual Restoration in Progress open house event held. This event resulted in the acquisition of a picture of students outside the original brick school, two pictures of students outside the current school, a picture and memorabilia from 1892-93 teacher Elias Berger, and Teacher's Monthly Reports books from 1911-1921.
December 12 - The original schoolhouse bell is moved from Camp Wood Haven to the schoolhouse by Kevin Derfler, Scott Derfler, John Bebelheimer, and Steve Sholl.
March - August
Terry Winters researched old newspapers, inventoried and arranged books.
Students Sharea Freeman, Madison Stearns, and Rylee Gavlick of the Kutztown University Communication Design Department designed a secondary Stanhope School logo; designed new merchandise items; updated the brochure, posters, and business cards during the 12-hour Designathon event.
Grand Re-Opening Celebration attracted 57 individuals, including five Stanhope alumni. Ribbon cutting participants were, Linda Mills, Chair; Tina Keefer, Co-Chair; John Ziegler, Stanhope alumnus; Jane Kruse and George Stralkus, Stanhope volunteers; Susan McCartney and Dave Thompson, Team Orwigsburg representatives.
Inaugural public education program, "Stories from the Stanhope Schoolhouse", was presented by Stanhope alumni Gertrude Lengel Pezzoni, Janet Lengel Miller, Patricia (Patsy) Lengel Weckle, and John Ziegler. They shared first hand accounts of attending the schoolhouse, life during that time, and what they have done since leaving the school. The event had pre-event coverage by WNEP - Channel 16 who aired a 2 1/2 minute interview with project chair Linda Mills. The Pottsville Republican Herald printed a front page pre-event story and followed up with a post event story.
May 20 - Education - Past, Present, and Future
Education has gone from one-room schools with no electric to virtual lessons during the COVID pandemic. We learned how education has changed from when the Stanhope Schoolhouse was open to present day and where educators see education in Pennsylvania going in the future. Presented by Heath Renninger, Superintendent Pine Grove Area School District.
July 15 - Iron Gall Ink
How did a wasp, a tree, and some iron sulfide enable Western Civilization to be documented? Before ball point pens, many of the most important documents in history depended upon using a unique permanent ink made from these unlikely ingredients. We learned the fascinating history of Iron Gall Ink that was used in everything from the Declaration of Independence to everyday writing and schoolwork. Presented by Cynthia Barbedette
September 23 - Then & Now - From Patchwork to Precuts!
Everything has evolved over time including quilting. Methods are now streamlined so there’s no need to trace paper templates and cut out pieces individually – unless we want to! We learned how newer techniques have opened this creative opportunity for everyone! Presented by Cyndi Hershey, Quilt Education and Development Director Kutztown Folk Festival
Brick Stanhope School built. The schoolhouse is located at the intersection of Camp, Stanhope and Mexico Roads, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.
October 22, 1923
Schoolhouse destroyed by fire during school. Students who went outside to get coal for the stove heater discovered the building's roof was on fire. Reporting this to teacher Miriam Readinger Wolfe, the only help to extinguish the fire came from families living nearby since there were no phone in the area at that time. The gutted structure was unusable.
Stanhope students were transferred to the Marstown School, located along Rt 501 just south of Rt 895 until the new school could be built.
Contract for 26' x 36' frame school went to Charles Werner & Co. Schoolhouse is rebuilt. The cost to erect the 26 by 36 feet frame schoolhouse was $3,440. It was constructed according to specifications submitted by the State Department of Public Instruction. Its design and materials were the first of their kind in this section of the country.
1947 - Electric installed at schoolhouse.
Stanhope School closed by Pine Grove School District in accord with one-room school consolidation efforts.
November 13, 1954
Girl Scout Council of Berks County purchased the property from the Pine Grove School District at an auction.