Lower Drawdy One Room Schoolhouse
Lower Drawdy One Room Schoolhouse was built in 1917. It is reminiscent of the era of small, utilitarian community schools.
Backstory and Context
One-room schoolhouses used to be in nearly every community in West Virginia at one time. Historian Otis K. Rice documented 4,551 schoolhouses in the Mountain State during the 1930-31 school year. The number of one-room schoolhouses declined when the “county unit” school system was adopted in 1933. The production of better roads allowed for easier automobile and school bus travel as well. When one-room schools were used they were usually located within two or three miles of their students. The students would usually have to walk to school. The buildings were typically constructed of rough-cut frames, lap siding, tin roofs, south-facing windows, and a potbelly stove. Usually outside was a coal house, well, and toilets for each sex. Many of these buildings are still around, but are used as barns, sheds, churches, or homes. 2
The history of this school begins with a one-room structure built in Andrew in 1906. It was made of logs and damaged by a flood in 1916. A new school was then built in 1917. During the 1920s, a new highway was planned for construction on the property near the new school. So the school had to be moved from that area. A Mr. Windrield Kinder used oxen to move the building approximately 100 feet away from the original site. Children attended this school until 1959. After the school closed, children were transferred to Peytona Grade School. The school property was then sold by the Board of Education to a Mr. Workman. After the school was sold, the building remained empty on the property from 1959 until it was relocated to its present location. The park that it is located in is the John M. Slack Coal River Memorial Park at Racine, WV. 1
A principal of Nellis Grade School, that is located not far from the present location of the school, had a strong desire to preserve the last one-room schoolhouse in Boone County. Edith Javins was the principal at Nellis Grade School at this time. In 1977, Javins negotiated with the new property owner, Jim Hall. With the help of the Boone County Landmarks Commission and the Andrew School Committee, the school was finally set to move. This was coordinated by Paul McCallister, and it was moved to the Coal Valley Park in Racine. Fundraising activities were started, with the direction of Indra Ferrell who is associated with the Retired School Employees Associated, to restore the old school. On October 15, 1985 the building was dedicated to the children of Boone County. It was accepted for the children by Superintendent Kenneth R. Mae. U.S. Senator Robert E. Byrd and the state superintendent of schools, Tom McNeel, were speakers at the dedication. Restoring the one-room schoolhouse provides the children and adults a unique experience and learning environment. It is an example of living history for those who visit the school. 1
Every year in September there is an annual Coal River Heritage Festival at the John M. Slack Memorial Park at Racine, WV and the school house is usually open to tour during the festival.