Spears school reunion celebrates heritage

PINORA TWP. — Every August local residents gather to the Spears Grove schoolhouse in Pinora Township for the annual school reunion. On Sunday, Aug. 20, people enjoyed a potluck inside the historic school house, which closed in 1941.

Lillian Spears Woods, 93, was the only one in attendance who attended the school, and others, such as Darrell Shoemaker, had past relatives who went there.

Pinora Township Trustee Sid Woods, who organizes the reunion and takes care of the school grounds, said the Spears Grove School, which is located two miles north of U.S. 10 on Saddler Road, was built in 1875 and opened in 1876.

“Florence Kinsey was the first teacher there,” Woods said. “Before the schoolhouse was built, another building served for the school, which Julia Lathrop taught. She was the daughter of the first Lake County Clerk, David Lathrop.”

For those who attend the reunion, it is like stepping back in time. There is no electricity, but sunlight from the windows filters through the one-room school. The worn hardwood-planked floor, the large chalkboard on the front wall and the old potbelly stove, tell of an older time.

Set on a small hill with an open yard in the front of the building and a grove of large maples in the back, the Spears Grove schoolhouse has long offered a rural charm and fond memories for residents of Pinora Township.