Abandoned school near Middlefork, Indiana on the Michigan Road

When I surveyed the Michigan Road from end to end in 2008, I stopped to photograph this abandoned schoolhouse near Middlefork, where State Road 26 intersects. The building faces SR 26; it’s actually on a short segment left behind when the highway was improved.

Abandoned school
Abandoned school

It was in sad shape, but it was intact. It was much the same in 2013 when I stopped to photograph it again. The upstairs windows were gone.

Abandoned school
Abandoned school

In the years since, every time I drove past here the school was in worse shape than the last time. When I drove by a couple weeks ago, I finally stopped to photograph it again. It’s not pretty.

Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse

I’m surprised this building hasn’t been razed by now. I wonder how much more of it will collapse before someone finishes the job and carts the bits away.

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15 responses to “Abandoned school near Middlefork, Indiana on the Michigan Road”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    What a sad state of affairs. I hate seeing great old buildings like this one lost to time and the elements.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I wish I knew why the owners let it go.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Ugh. That’s always the million dollar question. There’s an old church I wrote about a few years ago and pass by regularly. It has deteriorated enough that I often alter my route to avoid looking at it.

  2. Dan James Avatar

    Do you know the history of the building when it was active, are there any pictures online?

    A friend of mine toured the US a few years back and was amazed at how many buildings and vehicles are just left to decay. Over here we have far stricter rules, led no doubt by having far less land mass.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve looked hard for info about this school but found nothing. Someone commented on Facebook today that it’s owned by the people who own the bins in the background. So it’s privately held, and out in the middle of nowhere there’s likely no regulations to compel the owners to maintain this property. In the city, it would be a different story.

  3. Marc Beebe Avatar

    One of the ways civilization falls is neglect.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m not sure a dilapidated school building has anything really to say about civilization at large. Lots of old schoolhouses remain around Indiana because of consolidation that started happening in the 50s. Some have been maintained, some have not.

  4. Darts and Letters Avatar
    Darts and Letters

    Wow, it went downhill in a hurry. It must have really been breached in the back, rotten from within by termites or rain. It was deceptively solid looking. Those front doors and the transom above were everything, really gave it a lot of character. Once those were gone it became an amorphous hulk with a lot less character. Thanks for sharing the progression of time, here. Very interesting.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It looks like parts of it have been stripped for salvage, too. I don’t know what this building could have been used for, it’s really not near any major or even minor population center. But it’s a shame just the same.

  5. tcshideler Avatar

    I’m enamored by this wooden structure- it’s like looking at the old schoolhouse in Missaukee County, Michigan in Moorestown. I will have to do some research.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Hunh. I’d never seen an old school like this one before, but a couple people now have said “this looks just like” to me.

  6. Dave Jenkins Avatar

    It looks very much like the Carney School, located between Hartford City and Upland. I entered first grade there in 1943 and was there for second grade and part of my third-grade year before we moved to Martin County in southern Indiana.
    Carney was a two-room school, with first and second grades on the left; third, fourth, and fifth on the right.
    In Martin County I attended the one-room Tempy school near the village of Cale. Tempy is long-gone, and Cale nearly is.
    For junior high I went to a four-room school with eight grades at Trinity Springs. High school was at Williams, the village near the White River dam. Williams School has been defunct since the ’60s, but the building has been maintained as a community center.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You hit the tail end of the small-school era in Indiana, it looks like, as to my knowledge consolidation started happening in the 1950s and was complete by the early 1970s.

  7. Carla E Avatar
    Carla E

    Sadly, this structure was razed this week. I was always curious about the building’s history since moving to the area. Finally tried to do some searching about it this week — all I could find was your little bit of info. Thank you!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Disappointing news – thank you for letting me know. I will never understand how the property owner could let this building deteriorate and collapse like this.

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