Colchester Schoolhouse was the first school in Essex County to be built under the Public Schools Act in 1881. It replaced a log building that had been destroyed by erosion on the banks of Lake Erie. The building operated as a school until the 1960s. In 2020 the Town of Essex declared an interest in selling the Schoolhouse and Property to a Developer. At that time, a small group of citizens banded together to form Heritage Colchester. Their goal is to restore the schoolhouse for use by the community.
Another ACO Branch Board Member and I toured the structure with Heritage Colchester in 2021 and I can tell you, this is a great building. There is a 1950’s addition which is very of its age age attached to the one room schoolhouse. The addition contains washrooms and a cloak room. The schoolhouse area looks as though it’s just waiting for the students to return with it’s green chalkboard and lovely light. There is a shed attached to the schoolhouse to shelter the schoolmasters horse and a very interesting hole in the floor that our guide speculated was the original “washroom.”
The area is wonderful and the idea of attending events on the lawn of this building so near to Lake Erie on a breezy day is enchanting. The group held some country markets on the lawn which were a lovely escape back to a small town way of life. Once restored, I’m sure it’ll be a popular destinations for weddings and family parties.
The group is looking for pictures and memories from former students or anyone with association to the schoolhouse. You can visit their website by clicking here.
While there, consider joining the group of making a donation. It is truly a great space.