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Published by: PauldingProgress on Aug 12, 2013
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08/12/2013

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Paulding County’s last one room school closes its doors permanently

Emerald Center School consolidates with Paulding Exempted Village
From the Paulding Progress of June 4, 1959: aulding County’s last one room school closed May 26 for good, when Emerald Township elementary school held its traditional closing day picnic. The county board of education has officially authorized a vote in November by township citizens on whether their school district should join with Paulding’s. Meanwhile, pupils from the six grades will attend Paulding schools on a tuition basis next fall. The supper six grades have already been attending in Paulding for some time. Emerald school has had two teachers this year, with three grades each. Two one-room school buildings side by side have stood at the crossroads, about eight miles northeast of Paulding. Sixty-one pupils have been enrolled in the six grades this year. For as far back as local folks can remember school has closed with a midday picnic of the neighborhood. This year’s closing, though more final than ever before, followed the neighborhood custom. Fathers and mothers, preschool youngsters, and older brothers and sisters began to arrive about 11 o’clock, and began the ball games, the food arrangements and the visiting. Local rains made it possible for most fathers to attend, since fields were too wet to work in. Many cameras were in evidence, for this day had a finality about it that, while not being marked by any special speeches or program, was nevertheless in the minds of everyone. One man kept trying to get a picture of boys running over from the ball game to get a drink at the old pump – in the traditional method of holding the hand under the spout while water spurted out the same hole in the top. And general confusion resulted when teachers tried to line up their two grades between the buildings for the last songs of the year. A sudden spell of rain did not help much, either. But hardly anyone minded, since it was closing day for school 1959, and the final day for one room neighborhood schools in Paulding County.

A large crowd of neighbors and parents turned out for the closing day picnic at the Emerald Center School May 26, 1959. This represented the “last one” of the one-room schools in Paulding County. Students were divided with three grades in one building and three grades in the other. At one time, three township buildings stood in a row on Road 133 at the intersection of Road 218 in the center of Emerald Township. Emerald School (left) was the larger of the two one-room schoolhouses and remains standing today. According to a historical inventory from 1979, the structure was moved from Emmett to the site before 1940. After the school closed, it was used as a community center. It has been converted into a garage. The smaller schoolhouse had a central chimney and an added covered entrance. Both were built around 1890. The township hall, which is closest to the corner, originally was located north across the road and was later moved next to the schools. It is still used for township meetings and as a polling location. July 2013 Visions of Paulding County — 13

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