Salem Area Historical Society

                "Keeping  the Past Alive for Tomorrow"                                                                              

                                                          Local School house history

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South Salem Jarvis Stone School

Built 1857, the school was in continuous use until 1967. In 1978 the property was deeded to the SAHS. In 1993, restoration began with the result being our fine example of a one room school house.  We hold most of the SAHS meetings there.

The Jarvis Stone School was 150 years old in 2007.


Select this link for the latest on the
Frontroom Renovation Project


 The SAHS's July Event was the

150th Birthday Picnic for Jarvis Stone School with Croquet.
It was held at the School Site on Sunday, July 15, 2007.

Salem Township District No. 3 convened an elementary class for 138 consecutive years from 1829-1967 in a one-room schoolhouse.  It is generally believed that the first Salem No.3 schoolhouse was built in 1829 at Bullock’s Corners (North Territorial and Curtis Roads on the opposite corner of the present Jarvis-StoneSchool.  The Bullock’s Corners schoolhouse was built of unhewn logs and rose barely six feet from floor to ceiling with windows on three sides.


The present Jarvis-Stone Schoolhouse was built in 1857 with locally found stone and boulders.  It included a small wood entry.  The interior of the schoolhouse is in many respects as it was.  Some changes have been made.  The stove at the time was called a box stove and sat on a brick foundation in the center of the room.  A wide board in the back of the room was for coats.  Painted boards were used for black boards.  The first seats were double, but students were not allowed to prompt one another in recitation of the complete multiplication tables through the 14s, which was one of the many requirements for graduation.


 Electricity was added to the building in the 1930’s.  In 1941, the wood entry was removed and replaced with the larger brick entry that is now on the front of the schoolhouse.  This entry included Kaustine Septic Toilets and new racks for coats and lunch pails.


This schoolhouse has been called a few names: SalemStoneSchool, SouthSalemStoneSchool and JarvisSchool.  It was named Jarvis in honor of Mr. William Jarvis, who was a member of the school board.  It was renamed SouthSalemStoneSchool because the Jarvis family moved away from Salem.


The enrollment in the school varied over the years and ranged from under 20 to over 30.  In 1860s, school was held for three to four month winter term taught by a male teacher and a five month summer term taught by a female teacher.  All the teacher contracts from 1866 to 1909 are in the School Register.  The wages ranged from $0 to $10 per week.


Some of the teachers of that era were: Carrie S. Thayer, Maria Hines, George P. Vorhies, Helen Wright, E.K. Hill, K.A. Gilbert, W.H. Palmer, Libbie Clark, Harriet A. Patton, Emogene Mallory, Quincy Mathews, Mary E. Fitzsimmons, Charles Oliver, Oscar I. Twik, W.L. Stuart, M. Nelson, Martha C. Renwick, Mary T. Brott, Lillie J. McCormick, Edward M. Seaman, Alice Spoon and Maud Woodruff.


The following is a sampling of the teacher salaries from 1866 to 1962:


        -     1866  Carrie Thayer - $28 per month – Tenure – 13 weeks
-     1866  George P. Vorhies - $40 per month – Tenure – 16 week
-     1926-7  James Spencer - $140 per month – Tenure – 2 years

        -     1933-4  Felice Beitel - $45 per month – Tenure – 2 years

                -     1939-42  Ruth DeVine - $81 to $117 per month – Tenure – 4 years
                -     1949-54  Esther French - $249 to $296 per month – Tenure – 6 years
                -     1960-2  Roberta Scheidler - $363 per month – Tenure – 3 years


A typical day in the Jarvis-StoneSchool around 1900 was as follows with the numbers representing the grade level:


 9:00 -  9:10  Opening Exercise

 9:10 -  9:20  Beginner’s Reading

 9:20 -  9:30  1 Reading

 9:30 -  9:40  2 Reading 

 9:40 -  9:50  3 Reading 

 9:50 - 10:00  4 Reading 

10:20 - 10:30  7-8 Literature

10:30 - 10:45  Recess

10:45 - 10:55 Beginner’s Reading

10:55 - 11:05 1/2 Reading  

11:05 - 11:15 3 Spelling

11:15 - 11:25 4 Spelling

11:25 - 11:35 5 Spelling

11:35 - 12:00 7-8 Spelling

12:00 -  1:00  Noon Lunch and Recess

 1:00 - 1:10  Beginner’s Reading

 1:10 - 1:20  1 Reading

 1:20 - 1:30  2s Reading

 1:30 - 1:40  3 Arithmetic

 1:40 - 1:50  4 Arithmetic

 1:50 - 2:00  5 Arithmetic

 2:00 - 2:15  7 Arithmetic

 2:15 - 2:30  8 Arithmetic

 2:30 - 2:45  Recess

 2:45 - 2:55  4 Geography

 2:55 - 3:05  5 Geography

 3:05 - 3:30  7-8 Geography
3:30 - 4:00 Hisotry

In 1967, the school closed its “educational doors” as ownership was in the hands of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.  It lay neglected for many years until Mrs. Irene Lyke took matters into her own hands in 1977.  Mrs. Lyke worked with the school board to transfer the title of the school to the Salem Area Historical Society, which occurred in May 1978.


Unfortunately, the schoolhouse was land locked and until additional land could be acquired no restoration was done.  However, the Historical Society held many fund raisers to accumulate the funds needed for the restoration.  Finally in 1995, additional land was acquired and restoration was begun under the expert guidance of the Salem Historical Society President at that time, Don Riddering. 


Restoration included:

 complete removal of the flooring 
  -  new heating ducts
  -  new wood flooring
  -  new electrical wiring
  -  some new interior walls
  -  new ceiling
  -  new windows
  -  new roof


Restoration by the Salem Area Historical Society was completed in 1999.


Today, the Jarvis-StoneSchool is used by the Salem Area Historical Society for its membership meetings and as its office.  Also, it is used for Latin classes taught by Don Riddering.

Ann Arbor News Article July 16 ,2007

If you have Photos of the Stone School or documents from the Stone School, please allow us to copy them by contacting us at
The Jarvis-Stone School Sub-Committee needs volunteers to assit in organizing its history and keeping the building in good shape.  To volunteer, contact us at
Thank you to those who made the 150th Anniversary Picnic a success!!!
The Jarvis-Stone School Sub-committee needs volunteers to assit in maintaining the Jarvis-Stone School building.  To volunteer, contact us at
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