Saving This Old (School) House

Last summer, Motor Man and I discovered a restaurant on our route from home to the Outer Banks.  It’s known for its barbecue, but we much prefer their fried chicken chunks. (They taste very much like my mom’s fried chicken.)

Less than a mile from this restaurant is an old Rosenwald school house, built around 1920.  Rosenwald schools were a joint effort of Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, a co-owner of Sears Roebuck.  The schools were built in the south for the purpose of educating Afro-American children.

rosenwald 3-17-2016 6-19-10 AM

Last year, this school was scheduled for demolition by the county.  But, the owner of our little barbecue chicken chunk restaurant purchased it. And we learned that it was scheduled to be moved closer to his restaurant to be restored.

Each time we stopped at the restaurant, we’d ask if a date for the move had been set. Then I began following their Facebook page and learned that the move was set for April 12. We immediately put the date on our calendar and made the trip yesterday to watch the old school moved to its new home.

The day began with clouds and a forecast for rain, but with all logistics in place, the move went on as scheduled. Obviously, it was a big production,  requiring that the building be moved across the highway (four travel lanes plus a turn lane). Utility lines had previously been heightened, and phone cables were temporarily disconnected from poles.

power folks 4-12-2016 7-41-34 AM

 Shortly after 8:30, with sheriff’s deputies stopping traffic, the move began.

moving 4-12-2016 8-40-06 AM

Motor Man took still shots, while I videoed the action with my cell phone. We commented that there probably had never been this many photos taken of this old schoolhouse in her nearly 100 year history.

across the hwy 4-12-2016 8-41-01 AM

The trickiest part of the move was, most likely, at the very beginning, making it over the curbing on both sides of the highway. It was nice to hear the cheers of everyone once they realized the building had held together through the initial part of the move.

After about a 3/4 mile trip across a field…

cross the field 4-12-2016 8-53-52 AM

…and some careful alignment…

coming to the site 4-12-2016 10-01-37 AM

…she arrived at her new location.  Other than the final “tweaking”, the actual move took less than two hours. As Motor Man said, this time, that old building has a foundation.

new location 4-12-2016 10-11-16 AM

We look forward to watching her renovation as we pass by (and stop next door for chicken chunks).  It’s so nice to see history being preserved.

~These Days Of Mine~

12 responses to “Saving This Old (School) House

  1. It is great that those folks saved the building from demolition – after it’s shored up and patched up I’m sure it has many more years of “service” to give to the community…………’s fun to watch a building being moved – I’ve seen it once. I think the craziest one I’ve seen (on line) was a building being moved through the streets of New York City – imagine the traffic mess THAT created!


  2. How wonderful that this school will be preserved. Not an easy task, moving a building like that.

  3. It is fascinating to watch a building being moved. I’ve seen a house moved and it amazed me that it could be done. It will be interesting to see what this old schoolhouse turns into when it’s restored.

  4. AMAZING!!! So wonderful to see the school rescued – can’t wait to see the finished restoration. Now, we’ll have to try the restaurant also – haven’t stopped there before.

  5. You two do the most fascinating things! I love this story and your photos bring it all to life. Can’t wait to see the pics you take as the old schoolhouse gets restored.

  6. Very cool …
    So many old structures go a different route.
    Glad this one was saved !

  7. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Anytime we can save history I am all for it! This blog is so interesting, Dianna, thanks for sharing. Maybe Chuck and I will check it out soon.

  8. Thanks for sharing this. What a shame if this old school had been demolished. Well done to the restaurant owner for caring enough to save a bit of local history.

  9. What fun to watch! It really is heartwarming to see a sweet old building like this preserved and then lovingly restored.

  10. It is interesting to see how a building is moved. It has to be a very complex process.

  11. Very cool, an old building with charm is going to be given a new life. I will look forward to your posts about this building!

  12. This is a warm-your-heart feel-good story! That was a quick move!

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