Historical Images of Porter County

Eight Square School - Smokey Row School
Pine Township, Porter County, Indiana

Date: Circa 1920s
Source Type: Photograph
Publisher, Printer, Photographer: Unknown
Postmark: Not applicable
Collection: Steven R. Shook
Remark: The Smokey Row School was located southwest of the intersection of County Line Road and County Road 1275 North; the school was also referred to as the Eight Square School and was built around 1852. The Eight Square Cemetery, which was located directly to the west, was named after the school. Historically, Smokey Row School represented School District Number 1 of Pine Township. During the 1880s, at least two kilns were operating in the vicinity of Smokey Row School converting harvested timber in to coal for use by the railroads. One kiln was approximately three-quarters of mile northwest of the school, while the other kiln was one and three-quarters of a mile west of the school. Given the prevailing winds, the school would have experienced smoke when these two kilns were operating, hence the school’s name. Goodspeed and Blanchard provide a detailed description of this school in there 1882 history of Porter County: “It was an eight-square structure, built of narrow, thick boards placed upon each other and lapping alternately at the corners, thus making a wall about as thick as a an ordinary brick wall, and of such a substantial nature that after the lapse of thirty years it stands [1882] apparently as solid as ever. It has been weather-boarded, and presents an attractive appearance. Isaac Weston sawed the lumber for this house, and John Frame and Elias Dresden were prominent among those who constructed the building and organized the school.” This school was discontinued before 1891, but was still utilized for church services until 1914. The structure was razed around 1931.

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Image and related text prepared by Steven R. Shook


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