Cottrel: Former schoolhouse, waterfall a gem in our community

While Greenon celebrates its new school buildings and the old high school is being demolished, an historic brick school stands the test of time half way between the two schools on Rebert Pike.

The single-room schoolhouse and nearby stone dam and waterfall are picture perfect and one of the many reasons Mad River township residents love living here. It’s so pretty.

Like many of you, I’ve driven by it a thousand times and wondered what stories that brick building had to tell.

It took me 29 years but today I was finally invited to explore the property by the new owner.

New owners of the property which includes the school, house and some outbuildings, are Karen Adams, a 1977 Greenon graduate and her fiancé, James Long, a 1979 Greenon grad.

These two are currently involved with renovation of the big white wooden house with the uniquely sloped roof. They were drawn to the property by the impressive wood work in the house and the fact that it had once belonged to a relative of Adam’s. They believe the house was built around 1900.

She has memories of playing along the rock-bottomed creek and waterfall and in the lovely wooded area along the creek that forms a half circle around the property. The creek runs year around and features a series of drops or small waterfalls. Most cannot be seen because of greenery.

The rock-walled channel of the creek reminds Adams of Hocking Hills.

“I have Hocking Hills here in my back yard,” she said adding that she has no need to drive far.

She said that the main waterfall/dam that can be seen from the road is partially carved from rock and not constructed. She would like to know if there was a mill on this site at one time. It would seem like there might have been.

The trees are huge behind the house and one in particular could be as old as 300 years.

I had always figured that the school house had been totally converted into a workshop or storage building but I was pleased to see that some of the original school house décor remains. The black slate chalkboard still clings to the plaster walls at the back and around each front corner to the first window. The original wooden beadboard wainscoting covers the walls from the planked wooden floor to the bottom of the chalk board. The plastered walls are also intact.

The desks are gone. And the entire structure is currently being used to store furnishings while the remodeling goes on.

Most of the original windows are intact. The rope to pull the bell comes out of the ceiling.

Karen Adams said the bell is still in place, but no one has pulled the rope to ring it for years.

Sometime after the students were moved on to a newer school, basketball hoops were attached at both ends of the single room. I cannot help but wonder if the windows date from that time or were protected somehow from the basketballs.

Adams told me that she has learned that at some time later a fire truck was stored in the building.

Adams and Long plan to complete the house renovation before moving on to fixing up the school, which may eventually become a residence. Their long-term plans for the entire property are fluid right now as they tackle the work one project at a time.

Adams would be interested in learning more about this unique property and so would I. She has been told that the Enon Community Historical Society has information on file and hopes to check it out soon.

Meanwhile she would like to hear stories and see historical photos of the house, school and waterfall.

If you have information on the history of this property please email me at and I’ll pass it on to Ms. Adams.

As we learn more about this beautiful corner of Mad River Township, I’ll fill you in with another column or two.