About Us and About The Schoolhouse…
Eric and Gail & sons, Bowman (17), Charlie (16) & Tyler (14).
Check back soon for a video update to Our Story!
Eric, having grown up in Fairview, remembers riding his bike to the Schoolhouse (which back in the 70’s was an antique store) and buying penny candy. Gail, not a native of Erie (but after 14 years considers Erie her home) spent 10 years driving by the Schoolhouse almost daily and wondering, why no one wanted to save that sweet old place!
As fate, or as we believe, faith, would have it, we purchased the Schoolhouse in May of 2013 to do just that… save that sweet old place! We hired Jeff Kidder, of Kidder Wachter Architects, to help guide us in the historical restoration. We trusted that as we worked through the restoration process we would explore and find the right business to bring to The Schoolhouse.
In the meantime, we fixed up the roof and restored the cupola, replaced the windows, installed new electric, heating, air conditioning and plumbing; refinished the 117 year-old floor to its original state, rebuilt the outhouse, all new lighting, paint, fresco on the ceiling, completely remodeled basement, etc., etc.. One of our goals was to apply to see if the Schoolhouse would be considered eligible as a National Historic Place. In late summer of 2013 we learned that the Schoolhouse was deemed eligible by Harrisburg so the process continued to the next phase, and in October of 2014, we learned that the State review panel had formally granted Historical Registration status.
As we continued to explore and dream, a vision of sharing this beautiful treasure with our community became very clear. We decided that a unique event venue would allow many to come and enjoy and celebrate. Already we have hosted baby showers, baby dedications, engagement parties, birthday parties, holiday corporate parties, and neighborhood parties. We continue to book weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers and believe the possibilities for unique, “rustic-chic” events are as endless as the reasons we celebrate!
Come for a visit soon,
We look forward to sharing The Schoolhouse with you!
OUR LOCAL HISTORY
CAPTAIN RICHARD SWAN ( 1755 – 1808)
In 1797, Captain Richard Swan, a Revolutionary War veteran, settled with his family at the mouth of Walnut Creek. As manager of the Mill, Swan held a prominent position in the community. His log home was used as the school during the day and at night became the local Tavern. His tombstone pictured below in the Fairview Cemetery.
Swan’s descendants continued to be a prominent family in the area for generations. The Swan Dairy Farm ran from Route 5 down to the Lake. At the corner of Manchester Rd and Rt 5, you can still see a white, old wooden Schoolhouse, this is where the children attended school until The Schoolhouse No. 3 – 1897- was built. The descendants left their mark as we recall, the Swan Dairy Farm, White Swan Farms, Swanville, White Swan Woods…
Traveling north on Manchester Rd, stop at the Walnut Creek bridge. The first Mill in the area was at the foot of Walnut Creek, looking north and west, some foundation from the old mill is still visible today on the bank of the Creek.
It is legend that Colonel Thomas Forrester and Captain Richard Swan upon arriving on the bluff overlooking Lake Erie near the mouth of Walnut Creek, stated “Why, this is the fairest-view that I have seen” – hence the area became known as, Fairview.
And how did we get from Fairview to Manchester? Historians believe, the owner of the first Mill at Walnut Creek, was married to a woman who was from Manchester, England. It is believed this is why the area’s name was changed to Manchester.
1897 MANCHESTER NO. 3
In 1897, the one room brick Schoolhouse at the corner of Dutch Road and Lake Road was built. The Schoolhouse, due to the natural slope of the land was built with a basement. Indoor recess was held in the basement during winter as well the older boys were known to “smoke corn silks” down there – boys have always been boys.
MANCHESTER NO. 3 (1897-1952).
Come inside, you will find the original chalkboards, the original floors, the original wanes coating, downstairs the original treads on one set of stairs, the original cobblestone walls and rafters in the ceiling. Imagine the old pot belly stove being heated one hour before the children arrived to try and warm the building in the winter.
THE SCHOOLHOUSE (1952-1990)
School district kept the school until 1970’s. Private owners since. Antique store, floral shops, floral designers and landscape designers and more recent prior to current owners a dog obedience trainer rented the Schoolhouse. Then it sat vacant and basically abandoned from 2003 – 2013 when it was purchased by Eric and Gail Root with the intentions of restoring the beautiful building and it’s quintessential charm. The Roots are proud to tell you it is now for the first time on The National Register of Historic Places.