Historical Highlight: They Re purposed the old Park School

I recently wrote about the old Delano Church building that was moved from its original location and repurposed.  The story is a good example of how it was common in the past to move buildings rather than demolish them and build from scratch.  It goes back to the beginning of Cameron itself.  Somerville, the original location of our town in 1854, already had structures in place when they uprooted them and moved them nearly a mile, by ox cart to the town’s current location. 

I ran across a similar story while watching a video interview with Herbert Packard recorded in 1993. Herbert was born in 1897 and his family ties go back to Cameron’s earliest years. Herbert attended a small one room school called Park School.  It was located near the weigh scales on highway 69, just south of town.  It was similar to dozens of others that dotted the countryside at the time.  

When school consolidations started in the 40s and 50s, many of these old school buildings were sold and moved.  According to the Cameron Sun newspaper, in August of 1951 the Cameron School District auctioned off the old Park School building.  I was surprised when Herbert explained that the Park School had been moved into Cameron.  

What was it going to be?  Here’s how the Cameron Sun reported it “The Park School House, a landmark a half mile south of the city for nearly sixty years, has been moved to the northeast corner of Prospect and Orange Streets, where it will be used as a place of worship by members of the Nazarene Church… It was moved by Albert Hamlet, it being necessary to move it west two miles, then north about three miles and east down prospect street.  This route was necessary as it was not permissible to move it over the highway.”  

I suddenly realized I had been in that building many times as a teenager but had no idea of its origin.  It served the Nazarenes and other congregations for years.  It’s now a multifamily private dwelling, serving as home for several young families.  

Buildings like this stand as a testament to their rugged construction and the owner’s decision to recycle instead of demolition. Still in use after nearly 130 years, I really admire the way they re-purposed the old Park School.


As always, I appreciate and enjoy your comments and story ideas. 


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