MassMu to Host a Tour of Old Schoolhouses

News Release:  MassMu to Host a Tour of Old Schoolhouses

As part of The Big Read, the Massillon Museum will host a tour of one- and two-room schoolhouses on Sunday, May 17.  Participants will start at 2:00 p.m. at the Museum, 121 Lincoln Way East in Massillon, where they will pick up a “report card” and get directions. The tour will be free and participants will drive independently to the designated sites in any order they select, visiting as few or as many as they choose until 6:00 p.m.

The book selected by the Massillon Museum for The Big Read 2015 is Old School by Tobias Wolff.  Free copies of the book remain available to the public at the Massillon Museum and at The Big Read partner sites. The book comes with a bookmark listing more than thirty “old school” events surrounding The Big Read.

Hosts at five locations will tell about the history of their buildings: Vinedale School (now Bates Printing) on 23rd Street, S.E. in Massillon; Jackson Central (now Jackson Township Historical Society) on Fulton Road N.W.; Genoa School (the Perry History Club restoration project) on Genoa Road in Perry; Shidler School (now Culp-Myers Awning Co.) on Shepler Church Avenue; and Franklin Hall (Stark Parks) on 55th Street N.E. in North Canton. Participants will be invited to go inside Vinedale, Shidler, Genoa, and Jackson Schools. The report card will list exact addresses and include a map.

At each of the five official locations, in addition to learning about the schools, volunteers from Massillon/North Canton Elks #2029 will add a star to the report card and present each tour participant with a small surprise. Each star will entitle the participant to one ticket for a drawing for a gift basket including items related to The Big Read, Massillon history, the Massillon Museum, and the joy of reading. Report cards may be turned in at the Massillon Museum until 6:00 on the day of the tour; at Anderson’s in the City (in the Museum lobby) Monday, May 18, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; or at the Museum’s reception desk between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. Report cards need not contain all four stars and the winner need not be present for the drawing.

Prize entries may alternatively be submitted via email by sending a cell phone picture of participants holding report cards in front of the schools along with a name and phone number for each participant. Entries may be emailed to Margy Vogt by 4:00 on May 19. The drawing will be held at the Massillon Museum at 4:30 p.m. on May 19.

Although they will not be part of the tour, the report card will also contain a list of additional converted small schools throughout the area. "Participants may want to keep their eyes out for these additional local history treasures as they travel around the area," said tour organizer Margy Vogt. Once the report cards have been redeemed for drawing tickets, participants may keep the cards to locate the additional buildings over time.

This is the Massillon Museum’s eighth year to receive the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant for The Big Read. Local partners include the Massillon Public Library; Stark Parks; Kent State University and Kent State University at Stark; Massillon/North Canton Elks #2029; Rotary Club of Massillon; the Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce; Washington High School Drama Department; the Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau; and many community volunteers. 

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon. It is open with no admission fee Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 330-833-4061 or visit

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