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Fire destroys barn, old school house

Fire destroys barn, old school house

This barn was over a 100 years old when it burned to the ground Sunday. Photo by Jake Orr.

By Judy Reed

 This photo shows multiple buildings burning Sunday. Photo by Steve Reed.

A fire in Algoma Township Sunday destroyed a barn that was over a century old and an old one-room schoolhouse known as Foxville School.

The fire broke out shortly after 3:30 p.m. at 12785 Algoma Avenue, on the southwest corner of Algoma and Indian Lakes Rd. Thick black smoke could be seen for miles, and multiple fire departments were called in on the barn fire, including Algoma, Kent City, Rockford, Courtland, Solon, Cedar Springs, and Sand Lake.

Multiple fire departments were on the scene to fight the blaze Sunday. Photo by Steve Reed.

No details were yet available at press time on what caused the fire.

Sharon Poole, of Solon Township, was a former owner of the home and lived there 15 years ago with her husband, Richard. She said that the barn was one of the only white barns for miles when they lived there and was large enough for a workshop, cows, tractors, and more. 

The original Foxville one-room schoolhouse is now an empty shell. Photo by Sharon Poole.

The smaller builder that was destroyed they used as a shed and granary but was actually the original Foxville one-room schoolhouse. “It used to sit across the street on the Maranatha property,” she explained. “When the church was built, my husband saved it and moved it across the street to our property.” 

The original school was reportedly built on land owned by Amon Fox in 1876 and sat on the southwest corner of the intersection, according to an article in the North Press, dated September 9, 1986. That detail was given to the reporter by the now deceased Eloise Armstrong Covey. It also stated that sometime before 1901, a move took place, and a new school was built on the property on the northeast corner, which was owned by Covey’s father, Milton Armstrong. That school closed in 1958, and later became part of Maranatha Church. 

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