The Old, Pink, 1854 One-Room Schoolhouse in Mason
There’s an old 1854 one-room schoolhouse that sits on West Ash Street in Mason…
...and it’s pink.
Why is it there?
Why is it pink?
What’s the significance?
Back in 1854, Hiram Bristol donated an acre of his land to be used for the location of a school. A one-room schoolhouse was built on that acre by William Near, for a cost of only $299.95! This hunk of land was at the area which is now the northeast corner of the intersection of College and Columbia Roads, out in the countryside, west of Mason.
This new schoolhouse was 24’ by 30’, heated by wood, and had a bench where a water pail sat. Each student had their own cup and would be allowed to use the dipper to fill their cups. One of the older male students would be responsible for filling the water bucket each morning before class.
When the school opened in June 1854, thirty-seven kids were enrolled.
So why is it pink?
Has it always been that color?
From the history I’ve read, it leads you to believe it always was. When it came time to paint the newly-constructed schoolhouse, it was to be a bright red. However, not enough red paint was on hand, so they had to mix in white paint to have enough. Over the years, whenever it was time to re-paint, pink paint was used.
According to the Mason Historical Society, in 1915, a group of local ladies formed the Pink Community Club – named after the school’s appearance – in order to promote and improve the school, and hold occasional social functions. During holidays they would meet at the school for programs and holiday dinners.
The “Pink School” closed classes for good in 1962, except for Kindergarteners and first graders. Three years later, that was it. In June 1965, the school bell rang an extra-long time, marking the last day of classes and the school’s existence. During those 111 years, the school employed a total of 109 teachers.
The old school was sold but not used for many years…it just sat out in the countryside, deteriorating from weather and vandals. In 1976, the road commission said they needed that property where the school sat and was set to have the school torn down. Fortunately, it was turned over to the Bicentennial Commission and Mason Area Historical Society.
The school was moved to West Ash Street, where it still sits, in its restored state, used from time-to-time for Historical Society meetings and history experiences for children.
Take a look at the photos below, followed by a gallery of very old Michigan schools, featuring one-room schoolhouses and some high schools!
Mason's Pink Schoolhouse
Old One-Room Schoolhouses & High Schools
MICHIGAN CRIME SCENE: Look Inside the Abandoned 'Jeepers Creepers' Schoolhouse