WASHTENAW COUNTY NAMES 13TH LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICT
Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development (OCED) Staff play a key role in the site's preservation.
Ann Arbor, MI, July 2, 2013– The Jarvis Stone School, located at 7991 North Territorial Road in Salem Township, became Washtenaw County’s 13th local historic district on June 5, 2013 by vote of the County Board of Commissioners. Overseen now by the Washtenaw County Local Historic District Commission, this one-room school house joins several other local historic districts including Gordon Hall in Dexter, the E. Delhi Bridge in Scio Township, the Popkins School in Ann Arbor Township, and numerous farmsteads in rural Washtenaw County. This type of designation stays with the property regardless of owner, and mandates adherence to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation to maintain sites’ historic integrity.
The Jarvis Stone School was constructed of local fieldstone and has been associated with Salem Township public education since early settlement began in this region in the 1830s. Owned by the Salem Area Historical Society, the new local historic district consists of a 19th century school house, a historic barn moved to the site to prevent its demolition, a shed, and several landscape features. It is similar to many school houses that operated in the rural areas of southeast Michigan, many of which are now lost due to development or neglect.
The Historic District Study Committee Preliminary Report was completed in May 2013, and presented before the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission over a series of meetings in Fall 2012-Spring 2013. This report has also been distributed to several other commenting parties and will be made publicly available online. The Public Hearing was held on January 10, 2013, in accordance with PA 169: The Local Historic Districts Act, to solicit comment and participation by the general public. Feedback from community members was overwhelmingly positive.
“We are thrilled to have this designation take place,” stated Terry Cwik, President of the Salem Area Historical Society.
Former Salem Township Trustee and longtime supporter Marcia Van Fossen agreed. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for our community,” she said. Both Cwik and Van Fossen credited the hard work of local volunteers Jean Bemish, Sue DiMilia, Helen Gierman, Jane Griffith, and Marie Turppa as well as Washtenaw County Community & Economic Development (OCED) staff Melissa Milton-Pung, OCED volunteer Cynthia Christensen, and Washtenaw County Historic District Commission Chairperson Nancy Snyder.
“We couldn’t have done this without the work of volunteers and the technical assistance received from Washtenaw County,” Van Fossen said.