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White Brick School
Bristol , Indiana. Some things just have a way of working out. I was making good time driving back from Michigan when I was detoured off the main highway, in Elkhart, Indiana. The detour was not marked all that well or i was doing to much sightseeing, but a few miles into being misplaced, I saw the school ahead. With a guy coming out of a woodworking shop toward the road I pulled in to ask directions and see what I could find out about the school.
Chuck and Nancy Tubbs, were perfect hosts ,showing me around the school and even extending an invitation to come in and look around. The history of the school follows and also posted a set of photos of the school with an interior shot of it. The way they have restored it, makes for a distinctive home and larger than one might think.
. 1878 One Room Schoolhouse
Chuck and Nancy Tubbs moved into a one room schoolhouse in Bristol, Indiana in October. The school was built in 1878 and was called White Brick School because it was built out of a very light color brick. About 9 to 12 students a year went to school there until 1929, when it was closed.
Actually it doesn’t have just one room anymore. There is now a small kitchen, a den, and a bathroom. It has a loft above the kitchen and a very small loft (which now houses our harp, dulcimer, and flutes) above the bathroom. The rest of the house is still one large room with a 25’ high ceiling and roof beams a foot thick. With brick walls two feet thick and a chimney (for the furnace and wood-burner) in the center of the room, it really holds the heat well in the winter.
The school also has a little history from the towns in the area built right in. The front door came from an old church in Shipshewana, Indiana, the brick under the wood-burner (which has designs carved into it and makes a good foot massager when you walk across it) was the sidewalk brick in Wabash, Indiana. The brick walkway outside was at one time a street in Tippecanoe, Indiana and the large ceiling fan used to be in the old Myer grocery store in Bristol, Indiana (and it still works).
One section is being kept in the schoolhouse theme. It still has the white brick showing on the inside of the house and the original wainscot. An old double seat school desk sits if front of the wainscot with schoolbooks and supplies from the same time period displayed on the desk.
There is a shelf around the perimeter of the main room about 10’ up the wall. This is perfect for displaying antique items and old pictures of family members. The floor is carpeted, but will be changed to a wood floor in the future. There are oil lamps everywhere (and some electric also) that get plenty of use, as they light up the house well, are cheaper to use than electric, and we just like the light they put out.
The kitchen is small (but Chuck will adjust) but it has a wonderful Hoosier Cabinet and a pie safe. The cabinet doors are built is such a way that when we get tired of looking at them we can just pop out the wood panels and insert stained glass or screen to match the pie safe. What a wonderful way to redecorate inexpensively and often.
We are planning to turn the den into a late 1800’s style office (except for the computer). We will be going to an auction at Jefferson School (where the students went to school after ours was closed) this summer to try to get some wainscot for the walls. There will be a wood floor and we put in an old style light with a circular carved ceiling piece around the light. We have an old foreman’s desk and an old cabinet that was actually manufactured by the Tubbs (same as our last name) Manufacturing Company in Michigan and has the name Tubbs on all the handles and on a brass plate at the top of the cabinet. When this room is complete it will be like stepping back in time.
An extra heated one stall garage will serve great for Nancy’s craft room. With a window to look out at the fields. An old shed is going to be converted into Chuck’s woodwork shop. Both shops have large doors that can be left open in the summer.
With no close neighbors and the old flavor of the house, it’s a great place to relax, watch the deer, and enjoy the evening. In the future it will be a great place to retire and reflect on the past.
Article and Picture
No Paper or No Plastic?
By Jon Dalton
Reluctantly setting aside the lofty and complicated socioeconomic maladies
Michigan’s largest city faces, and even more reluctantly setting aside
possible solutions, there is one issue that everybody living in Detroit
knows about more than any student of sociology. For too long a time now,
Detroiters have had to drive at least ten miles out of their way to get the
groceries they need.
This isn’t to say that there are no places to get groceries in Detroit.
Honey Bee Market, Eastern Market, University Food Center, a downright
enviable amount of private convenient stores and plenty of places that sell
food secondarily such as CVS Pharmacy are all great places to get certain
items and can absolutely provide enough to tide an average not-too-picky
shopper over. For an area as bustling as the Motor City, however, it just
Try this: Think of your favorite chain grocery store, the place you can get
everything you need and cheap! Now open another tab (don’t use this one!)
and google that store. Now click on google maps and take a moment to bask
in the awe of the convenience that is the twenty first century and how
quickly you can get almost anything should the mood strike. In the event of
a nuclear war, Global Warming doom, a SARS outbreak or even a zombie attack,
you can rest assured knowing you can fully stock your underground bunker
without breaking the bank. Now go back to the search bar with your favorite
store and type “Detroit” next to it. Notice anything? A standoffish bubble
around a certain city, maybe?
It might be the fault of ineffectual city planners, it might be that your
favorite store didn’t care to help Detroit out, or it could be that the
amount of crime in every inch of the city simply makes doing business here
more trouble than it’s worth. Whatever the reason, the abundance, quality,
convenience and thrift of major chain grocery stores is something Detroit is
going to have to do without. This is just tough luck for those men and women
who work long hours and only have later at night to shop, anyone who prefers
a certain variety and doesn’t have transportation, or for a family on a
budget who like to buy in bulk and keep an eye out for sales. But really,
how many people fitting those descriptions could be in Detroit?
Hypothetically, if just one superstore planted itself firmly in an
accessible location of the city how much might the roughly 30% of Detroiters
who are on food stamps save on grocery costs? How much gas money would they
get to keep? How many lives could be improved in untold ways by someone
simply having one thing they need to help them through the week? Let’s not
even deal with the jobs that would be created or we might start getting
Sociologists have noticed the lack of grocery stores in urban areas vs.
suburbs in other cities as well, on the off chance that anyone out there
isn’t tired of hearing this though, analysts say it’s particularly bad in
Detroit. As usual, assigning blame is too easy… and too difficult, and if
anyone isn’t doing all they can to fix the problem, they surely know who
they are. Let’s just make sure that if and when a Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer,
etc. decides to join our city, the first thing they see is a welcome mat
and a group of eager shoppers waiting with bells on… and food stamps…
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