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Maher School open house, ice cream social planned Sunday

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Photo by Tamie Meck Since it was built in 1917, the Maher School House has been a hub of social activity for Crawford and the surrounding area. That tradition continues this Sunday with the annual Maher-Onion Valley Community Club ice cream social. A spec

It may not be apparent to travelers of Highway 92, but the unpretentious Maher School House is packed with history. The Maher-Onion Valley Community Club will open the school from 2-4 p.m. Sunday for the annual open house and ice cream social.

Built in 1917 after a fire destroyed the original school, the Maher School House is located in Montrose County and approximately five miles south of the town of Crawford on Highway 92. The building is considered one of the few examples of a one-room schoolhouse remaining in the state.

In 2016 a renovation of the classroom was completed. Work included re-insulating the walls and installing new sheetrock. The drop ceiling was removed, revealing an original stamped tin tile ceiling. Light fixtures salvaged years earlier from the old Crawford School were installed.

In January, the Maher School House was formally designated by the Montrose County Commissioners as a Montrose County historic landmark. At 3 p.m. Sunday, a plaque will be presented to club members by the Montrose County Historical Landmark Advisory Board.

"Also, in keeping with similar rural educational facilities, it has a gabled roof, bell tower and narrow windows," according to documentation provided by the Maher-Onion Valley Community Club. The club maintains the property, which it purchased following consolidation of the local school districts into the Delta County Joint School District #50.

"Its construction is of wood frame, as was prevalent at the time. Also, in keeping with similar rural educational facilities, it has a gabled roof, bell tower and narrow windows. Original matching privies for boys and girls still stand near the back fence of the property. The floor plan consists of a kitchen, classroom and small entry, part of which may have served as sleeping quarters for the teacher."

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