Salisbury School, Mason Township, Cass County, Michigan
Location: 41.7760, -85.8978
Salisbury School (Mason District No 5 School, Excelsior School) was built in 1874-5 at a cost of $3000. It is made of locally manufactured yellow and red brick, in the late-Victorian style in a T-Plan on a fieldstone foundation. The yellow brick was used for the face of the building, and the red brick as projecting accent trim, such as arches above windows in the Italianate style, a decorative double-row of bricks along the base, and ornate brickwork under the roof that mimics the appearance of brackets. The 1882 Cass County History described it as "the best rural schoolhouse in the State." It had two classrooms and could accommodate 110 students. There are ten large windows on the original part of the building, and I expect a couple more were removed when an addition was made in 1988 to the back of the building. The layout of the school is similar to the Capitol Hill School, Maple Ridge School, McKinley School, Old Stone School, Thayer School, Bell Tower School and Monterey Center School. It was used until 1959, and became the Mason Township Hall in 1964, and the Mason Union Branch of the Cass County Library in 1972.
The school bell is on display in a brick bell tower resting on the ground in the front yard. It was cast at the Gould Mfg. Co. in Seneca Falls, New York in 1870, at a cost of $40. It weighs 390 pounds. It was installed on the building in 1875, but removed from the building in 1964 during remodeling. It was sold to a local farmer, then to James Loop who took it to his home in Wichita, Kansas. In 1996, the bell was purchased by Bill and Jean Hoffman and brought back to its original site.