Graham Chapel Schoolhouse, Wildlife Prairie Park - Hanna City, IL
Posted by: NorStar
N 40° 44.294 W 089° 44.189
16T E 268936 N 4513301
Quick Description: The Graham Chapel Schoolhouse, built around 1850, was moved from Elmwood Township, Peoria County, to this location at Wildlife Prairie Park around 1977 and is now maintained with the help from volunteers of the zoo.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/27/2013 7:19:08 PM
Waymark Code: WMJK5G
In Hanna City, within the Wildlife Prairie Park, is the Graham Chapel Schoolhouse.
Wildlife Prairie Park is located west of the city Peoria in Peoria County. From I-74 take Exit 82 onto Kickapoo/Edwards Street, and drive south on that road to the park entrance on the left. After passing through the admission gate ($8 for adults), drive to the end of the road to the parking lot. Then, follow maps and paths to the schoolhouse.
The schoolhouse is a white structure with a peaked, shingled roof and clapboard siding. One entrance is through the small end of the building, and another is off the side. The schoolhouse inside is fully furnished. There are three rows of chair-desks laid out. Most of the desks have slate and chaulk on top. There is a portrait of George Washington, a globe and maps, as well. At the time of the visit (09/2013) there was a guide posted to give a talk and answer questions.
A web site about the history of Peoria County schools has a page on schoolhouses. This one is listed on that page, with a fair amount of text and pictures. In summary, in Elmwood Township, a Methodist Church was built on land donated by S.S. Graham in 1850 across the street from where the school would later be built. The church became known as Graham Chapel for that generosity. When the church was built in 1856, it became known as the Graham Chapman school from its proximity to the church. In the early years, benches that could seat three or four children across were used. Then, around 1931, single seat chairs were installed. In the 1953-4 school year, the Graham Chapel school district was merged into the Elmwood school district. In 1977, two educational societies from Bradley University donated and moved the church to the present location at Wildlife Prairie Park. It is now maintained with the help from volunteers at the park.
Web Site for Wildlife Prairie Park: