Demolished: Abandoned school on the Michigan Road near Middlefork, Indiana

I’ve photographed this abandoned school many times, the first being in 2008 when I surveyed the Michigan Road from end to end. It appeared to be in reasonable condition then. I hoped that it would be restored and put to good purpose.

Abandoned school

It was not to be. Over the years I watched as the windows were removed, and then the doors. In time siding started to disappear. I’m sure that in this exposed condition, rainwater began to damage the structure. A few years ago it began to collapse. I last photographed it in May, 2021, when it looked like this.

Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse

In this condition, the building was a goner. It was razed recently. What a waste.

Click here to see on Google Maps where this building once stood. It actually faced State Road 26, which crosses the Michigan Road here.

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

  1. J P Avatar

    I am right there with you. I would love to know the story behind this. It probably made sense in some way, but it is still sad to lose a small piece of history.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I struggle to imagine a story that explains this well. It was just neglected and it collapsed. Perhaps the owner just couldn’t find a use for it, or a buyer.

  2. tcshideler Avatar

    The 1997 Clinton County Interim Report by Indiana Landmarks says the school was built around 1910. It seems to have closed around 1957 and probably merged into the elementary school at Forest, a former high school, after the Clinton Central school district that included Michigan, Forest, Johnson, Sugar Creek, and Warren townships was established. In 1971, elementaries at Michigantown, Forest, Kirklin, and Scircleville closed when the new Clinton Central Elementary on State Road 29 was completed.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks for finding these details! I didn’t realize that Clinton Central was that old.

  3. Austin Newell Avatar

    I gotta say I was looking at that first photo thinking, “man that would be cool to go inside and look around”, and then I saw the second photo and said “NOPE”. Such a bummer it looks like it had so much history.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yeah. Kind of a waste.

  4. Olli Thomson Avatar

    It’s a shame it was never restored but on the other hand I think there’s something about old buildings that have been abandoned and gradually allowed to disintegrate that is pleasing. It’s like allowing them to get old and feeble and die rather than euthanising them!

    This probably only applies to wooden buildings that aren’t too big. I don’t think even I could appreciate a 60 storey concrete highrise in the middle of the city being left to rot.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You make an interesting point. Now that I think about it, it was interesting to watch this building slowly collapse over the years.

  5. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    It’s sad when we lose architecture like this. We need to record them while they are still standing. Good job photographing this school.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I see it as an important job when I follow the old roads to document stuff like this. I now have a growing collection of photos of buildings that used to be there.

  6. brandib1977 Avatar

    This is part of the reason I compulsively photograph old buildings. So many are gone now but I somehow feel better that there’s proof they existed.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes. Those photos are the closest to a time machine as we’ll have.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Sad. Terrible loss of our heritage.

  7. Shirley B. Avatar
    Shirley B.

    I’m always sad to see a building deteriorate like that. Happens here sometimes as well. On purpose.

    In this case, it was about 25 to 30 years ago, a nice thatched house, which was left to rot. The new owner wanted building permission to buy something new. A concrete monstrosity, to our opinion. He was denied building permission, since the house was sort of a landmark and in good state. So he left that perfectly nice house exposed to the elements for years. Of course it got to a point that demolision was the only course of action possible. After which he did get his building permission.

    And now his concrete “mansion” is sold and is being demolished…. guess the current owner didn’t like it very much.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That is a strategy for sure! Not one I support, but obviously it worked.

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