A piece of Crawford County history is gone following the demolition of the former Hardinville School.
The school, which once housed students in kindergarten through eighth grade, was torn down late last month. Owner Gareld Bilyew said the structure was "in very poor condition."
Harold Price and his wife became aware of the demolition when they heard the trucks hauling away debris pass their house.
Price attended Hardinville School for six years, beginning in the third grade.
It was the early 1950s and the school had just opened, replacing five or six one-room elementary schoolhouses in the southwest part of Crawford County. High school students attended Oblong Township High School.
One of the schools it replaced was the original Hardinville School, which stood 300 or 400 feet west of the newer building. Price attended there for two years before it was closed and torn down.
Another school affected was Bottom School.
"The teacher from Bottom School brought all the students with him in his car," Price recalled. "Two Shipmans and three Catts."
Price was on of 110 children who attended during that first year. There were four teachers, each assigned to two grades. Kindergartners were paired with first-graders, second-graders shared with third-graders and so on.
Among the school's features was a cafeteria. "Wasn't it fancy?" Price joked.
The true highlight, however, was the gymnasium, Price remembered. Besides giving the school's basketball teams a place to play, it had five rows of bleachers and a stage and could be used for meetings and concerts.
Price's father, looking at the school when it was new, made a prescient comment. "It will be there 20 to 25 years, then they'll move everybody to town," he said.
His grandfather disagreed, claiming "there will always be a school here."
Hardinville students moved to Oblong Elementary School in the late 1970s, about 26 years after the school first opened.