The Illinois Amish Heritage Center located 3 miles east of Arthur will begin its fifth year by moving the historical Miller Amish German schoolhouse to the IAHC site on Friday, March 26.
The Illinois Amish Heritage Center located 3 miles east of Arthur and six miles west of Arcola and I-57, will begin its fifth year by moving the historical Miller Amish German schoolhouse to the IAHC site on Friday, March 26. The one hundred year old schoolhouse was built about 1920 and was located two miles west of Arthur on Illinois Route 133. The school was moved in 2011 to the Miller farm two miles further west where it was preserved in its original historical condition by Karen Miller, whose father and grandfather taught in the school.
The Miller school served as a German school where Amish youth, after graduating from the eighth grade, went during the winter months to learn the German language. This is important because Amish church services are conducted in high German. The school is in pristine historical condition with original paint still on the walls, all of the student desks, the teacher’s desk, and the wood or coal burning stove all still in place, and even the original graniteware basin is still on the shelf in the back of the room. The school enrollment logs with the names of the teachers and students remain intact and will become part of the permanent collection in the school. German lessons can be seen written on the chalk board in the front of the room.
The Miller school will join the 1882 Schrock house and the 1866 Yoder house along with the Yoder workshop at the IAHC campus and will help interpret early Illinois Amish life to site visitors. The school will include an exhibit on Amish education and today’s school children will be able to sit at the desks where Amish youth studied a century ago.
The Miller school was recently purchased from Karen Miller so that Karen’s initial desire for the school and its history to showcase the experience of educating the Amish youth in the German language would be fulfilled.
Future educational events and opportunities are being planned for the school once it is placed on the IAHC campus site. Karen hopes that “all former students can step back into the school and remember, and all those who have only heard stories, can step into the school and imagine.”
For more information, call Wilmer Otto at 217-721-9266. Also, look for the Illinois Amish Heritage Center at www.illinoisamish.org and on Face book. Rain date for the moving of the schoolhouse will be Friday, April 2.
Route: The School House will be moved from its current location of 1350 Rte. 133, proceeding East one-half mile, then South one mile, to Road 2000 North, then East eight miles to Road 250 East, and then North one mile to IAHC campus.