Albion Interactive History / Little Red Schoolhouse

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Public Schools

Little Red Schoolhouse, 1837

    Demolished Spring 1912

Builder +
Wareham Warner (1779-1854)

The remains of the Little Red Schoolhouse, shortly before its demolition in 1912. Notice the scar remains of the old tower cupola on the front of the structure.

On April 1, 1837, Albion Township was officially organized. Cata Millington, George Bass, and James Sheldon, Sr. were elected as inspectors of common schools. These persons began working for the erection of a community schoolhouse.

The Albion Township school board contracted with one of Albion’s earliest settlers, Wareham Warner, to build a school structure. Assisting Warner in its erection were Luman Crittenden and Samuel Bliss. The one story building they erected measured approximately 20 by 30 feet, and became known as the Little Red Schoolhouse. The total cost of the building was about six hundred dollars. A cupola tower was added to the front at a later date.

The Little Red Schoolhouse was located just south of the alleyway on the east side of the 600 block of S. Superior St., and faced the street. School opened in the fall of 1837, and continued only during the winter months each year. The first teacher was a Mr. Morgan who taught but one year. The second teacher is said to have been a Mr. Benham, while the third was a minister named “Elder Taylor.” In the fall of 1839, William V. Morrison became the school’s fourth teacher, and he held the position for many years.

The Little Red Schoolhouse was also used as a place of meeting and as a political center. Singing classes were held there for many years. The first town election was held there, and many a heated debate occurred within its confines.

By the 1860s, other facilities in town were utilized for schooling, and although classes were still held in the Little Red Schoolhouse, its use as an educational facility was nearing an end. The school became outmoded and was closed in late 1869 with the opening of the South Ward School.

Sometime after the Little Red Schoolhouse was abandoned as a school, it was moved eastward along the south side of the alley, next to 107 E. Walnut St. At that site the former schoolhouse was used as a barn, and the cupola tower on the front was removed. The structure was demolished in the spring of 1912.

Source: Frank Passic. A History of the Albion Public Schools. Albion, Michigan: E. Weil Publishing Services. 1991.


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