Pleasant Hill School House Museum has successful 2012, anticipates a busy 2013

The Pleasant Hill School House Museum located on state Route 213, Steubenville, logged a successful 2012 and anticipates a busy 2013.

“Interior restoration is 98 percent complete, and we are ready for the first second-graders in the fall with permission from the principal of Pleasant Hill Elementary School,” noted Gloria Renda, president of the museum’s board of directors.

“We’ll be having our first group of kids coming to experience a day in the turn-of-the-century school house,” Renda said Monday of that anticipated visited by pupils during the fall of 2013.

The museum recently received a donation that will enable restoration of the floor.

A year in review for 2012, meanwhile, was detailed in the museum’s December newsletter which included the notation that the facility got an “A+” from the Ohio Historical Association house doctor inspection.

In June, members Karen Lundquist and Connie Crawford painted all of the trim and wainscoting. Dick Clashman “tied loose ends to prepare for the alumni dinner.”

The museum held a classic car cruise-in on June 14 with teacher Joyce Zimmerman and grandchildren as hosts. The block party that had been scheduled for July 14 fell victim to rain.

Fourteen alumni and 42 guests turned out for the alumni dinner on Aug. 18, and the Oct. 13 October Fest at the nearby Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church coincided with an open house at the school.

An open house and cookie sale held Dec. 8 rounded out 2012 activities.

The newsletter notes that a family framed print of George Washington was donated to the museum by Andrew Howard, a retired teacher from Mount Pleasant. Nelson Fine Art and Gifts restored the print, which is hanging in the school house.

Andrews also donated a school house piggybank and a hand school bell.

Museum officials hope to acquire a companion print of Abraham Lincoln.

Events for 2013 will include a sock hop and Community Day with dates for both to be announced. The alumni reunion is set for Aug. 24.

Though the school house is closed in the winter, it is able year-round to accommodate small group meetings of 25 people or less. A catered lunch can be offered upon request. For reservations or visits by appointment, call (740) 264-3565 or (740) 283-1626.

In the fundraising realm, the museum welcomes donations that can be made payable to Pleasant Hill School House Museum and mailed to 4355 Steuben Woods, Steubenville, OH, 43952. Annual memberships are available for $5 for a student or alumni; $20 for a family; or $50 for a principal.

Friends of the museum also can show support, Renda said, through the Riesbeck Labels for Learning program. “Friends are asked to collect the UPC bar codes from Riesbeck’s Our Family products and submit them to any board member,” according to the newsletter. “The school house will receive $25 for every 500 UPC bar codes submitted through July 2014.”

In addition to Renda, officers include John Finney, vice president; Richard Clashman, treasurer; Joanie Westover, secretary; Joyce Zimmerman, historian; Kay Finney, Cathy Llewellyn and Argie Kisner, fundraising committee; and Terry Zavacky, Karen Lundquist, Donnie Crawford and Dave Nicholson, board members.

According to its Facebook page, the museum’s mission is “to rehabilitate the school house and to provide a cultural and educational center for the surrounding communities. Today’s generation and future school children will be able to experience the environment in which their ancestors were taught by means of class visits to the museum.”

The Facebook site also notes “If anyone attended this school please contact us at We would love to hear your story.” The schoolhouse is one of the last one-room brick school houses in Jefferson County and is located in Island Creek Township on state Route 213.