Strong School, Brady Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan
Location: 42.12509, -85.52805, in Vicksburg Historical Village.
Strong School (Mendon Fractional District No 1) was built sometime before 1903, since there is a photo of it in 1903 here. It was originally located on the east side of Silver Street, 1/4 mile south of Z Avenue in St. Joseph County, and taught students of grades K-8. It is a rectangular wood-frame structure, painted white, now on a fieldstone foundation. The front face features two front doors, one for boys and one for girls, which lead into small cloakrooms where coats, boots and lunches were stored. The cloak rooms were lit by a transom window above each door. Between the doors is an arch-topped window. Each side of the schoolhouse had 3 large windows to let light into the schoolroom which was behind the cloakrooms. On the front of the peak of the roof is the school's bell tower which was constructed during restoration by Walter Wesoloski, and which now houses a school bell inside. The back face of the school has a second door, probably an emergency exit added after the original schoolhouse was built. Beyond that back wall stand two outhouses, probably one for boys and one for girls. In front of the school is a manual water pump to represent how the students obtained their drinking water. The school was named after the adjacent property owner, Ezekiel Strong. It was donated to the Vicksburg Historical Society by the Wesley Copenhafer family and Mr. Robert Schroeder in 1996, as the building straddled the line between the property of those two families, and they wished to see the building preserved rather than torn down. The schoolhouse was moved to Vicksburg Historical Village in 2002, according to the sign outside the schoolhouse. Strong School is served well by Vicksburg Historical Society not only by enabling a visit to their Historical Village, but also by providing this excellent history of Strong School