Its been a while since I’ve written about a courthouse here- since July fifth, it turns out. Honestly, I thought it’d been a lot longer.
There’s more to say on this blog despite it being idle, which is why I just renewed the domain. I’ve only written about twenty-four courthouses in Ohio, despite having traveled to 38, and there are a full fifty more to go to. I’ve written about zero of the seventeen in Michigan I’ve gone to, beyond which 66 still remain to travel to and write about.
In addition to courthouses in those two states, I’ve been to a handful in Illinois and West Virginia, six each. I’ve got to finish those states at some point, and write about them as well.
In April, I got an old-but-new-to-me DSLR, a Pentax K10D. I’ve been using it to re-document the old schoolhouses of my home area, Delaware County, Indiana. I first tried that project during a lull in my original attempt to get to each courthouse in Indiana, when I used a succession of Motorola Droids around 2011. Later I regrouped with a Sony Cybershot, but upon acquiring the new camera I felt as though I had to retake every photo of places I’d already been to. I’m a little obsessive-compulsive, and a journey around the 396 square miles of my county was much easier.
Part of the reason I decided to focus on schoolhouses for the time being is that they’re more endangered. Shortly before I got the new camera I was told that the Harrison Township District 6: Bethel schoolhouse was in imminent danger of being knocked over by a new owner’s backhoe. I wrote about it during my last hiatus. It’s unlikely that the Dubois County Courthouse will meet the same fate in mere days. I wanted to document what’s left, in the now.
I did that, then I branched out to extant schoolhouses in the surrounding nine-county area. Then I started to research them all as best I could. My efforts, for now, are being posted at a companion site to courthousery, schoolhousery. As of this moment I’ve completed researching and writing up the schoolhouses of Delaware County as best I can, and now I’m focused on Madison County to the west. In time, I’ll add Rush, Henry, Wayne, Randolph, Jay, Blackford, and Grant.
I don’t update that blog traditionally. I issue a blog update linking to my updates once I’ve completed some substantial entries. My hope is that the schoolhouse website will serve as a directory for the small amount of people who are interested in the old schoolhouses of East-Central Indiana. I feel like this project will never be completed, and that’s ok: there’s a wealth of information out there if you know where to look and who to ask.
I’m a loner and I’m awkward. I have to prepare in advance for every interaction. Perhaps that’s what draws me to these buildings where people once congregated. Once there were many, but now there are few. People like me seek these places out. I don’t think I’m alone.
A note- if you’re looking for urbex, schoolhousery is not the place. I did a little bit of that in Ball State’s tunnels and elsewhere during my youth and I’m too old and disinterested now.
I hope to begin contributing here again soon, but if you’re interested in local history and old schoolhouses, go check out schoolhousery at http://www.schoolhousery.net.