The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm worked with the Rochester Community Schools to recognize this building with a state historic marker. After two years of research and documentation, the marker was approved in 2005. Every local school was contacted seeking financial support to purchase the marker, and that has culminated in a state historic marker dedication on May 31, 2006.
It is important for our community to recognize the achievements of those who have gone before us. Our early residents planted the seeds of good education in Avon Township dating back to its founding in the wilderness of Michigan in 1817. By the early 1900's, there were 12 one-room schoolhouses in Avon Township (known as Rochester Hills since 1985) and an independent school board operated each schoolhouse. These school boards were intimately involved in the education of their children, and I am proud to know that the issues of education were as important in 1848 as they are now.
The Stoney Creek Schoolhouse is one of only two schoolhouses left from that early pioneer time. In 1952, each of the 12 independent school boards chose to consolidate their resources to create the Rochester Community Schools. Can you imagine that? Each school board giving up their close-knit power over their own schools to hopefully create a better school system.
Realizing how carefully our community debates educational issues and finances today, I can only imagine the heated debate that must have ensued. Fortunately, we can all be proud that the Rochester Community Schools was created and has lived up to expectations. It is a result of commitment and dedication that started in our community over 150 years ago.
I find it fascinating that we still have a symbol of our country's independence and values regarding education. The symbol is the Stoney Creek Schoolhouse that is still used by students in our community to learn from and appreciate the past.
Since 1976, thanks to the restoration efforts of school board member Dr. Max Mallon, every third grader from our school system has visited the Stoney Creek Schoolhouse. The students learn about the history of our community, the history of education, the history of their families and they see how they fit into the picture. Ask any teacher whether the schoolhouse is a good teaching resource.
The state historical marker is a fitting testimonial to an old building that was part of the fabric of our community - hosting town meetings, Sunday church services, Christmas plays and more.
When I sit in the building I can only imagine all the emotions, the dreams, the stories that have passed by the walls. It's still the same building built in 1848, carefully handled and maintained by each generation and passed along to the next. This state historic marker is our opportunity to pass along a tribute to an old friend - our contribution that we pass along to the next generation.
My gratitude and thanks go to the following school PTA, PTSA and parents for their support of the state historic marker: