Curious Indians, drafty outhouses and long walks are just
a few of the inconveniences early students had to endure in Macomb County.
In 1881 six one room schoolhouses dotted
the countryside in Shelby Township, with 390 students. Schools were named for the land donor or geographical and physical
Only 2 schools remain. The Prestonville Schoolhouse (25 Mile & Schoenherr built in 1881,was converted
into a private residence. The Andrews Schoolhouse (25 Mile & Mound) was moved to the Shelby Township grounds in 1975 and
restored as part of the townships Bicentennial project.
This small wooden building is the former one room Andrews Schoolhouse. It dates back to the 1800’s.
The school was originally located at the northeast corner of 25 Mile and Mound Roads. It was named for Hiram Andrews
who owned the land on which the school was built. The school was moved to its present location in 1976 as part of the
Shelby Township’s Bicentennial project.
The first land grant for an eighty-acre parcel of land on which the school was later located was received by Abel Warren
in 1842. He and his wife Sarah then sold a portion of the land to William and Laura Miller. Two years
later they then sold twenty acres to Hiram Andrews for $300.
Hiram Andrews, along with Jeremiah Curtis and Alanson Arnold, were district board members for School
District #4 of Shelby Township. It was during this time that Hiram Andrews’ land was leased “for the
sole purpose of a School house and no other”.
On September 8, 1864 the land was once again leased for a period not “less than 50 years”
to the “Fractional School District #4 of Shelby and Washington”.
Documents imply that the school itself was not built until sometime after September 8, 1864 since in his recorded deed
of that date Hiram Andrews made the following added provision, “That said District shall build a Schoolhouse on
the aforesaid premises and use the same for School purposes for the consideration of which I receive $12.”
The Schoolhouse was built at least by 1871 as records dated that year refer to “5/8ths of one acre with schoolhouse
thereon.” At this time the land was owned by Chester Andrews, son of Hiram who died in 1869, and leased
for 90 years to “the Fractional School District #4 or Shelby and Washington Townships at the cost of $10 provided
that the said District use the same for School purposes.” This school district later became part of the
Utica Community Schools.
The building was periodically used for class into the 1950’s. Shelby Township’s population increase soon
outgrew the Schoolhouse. It was unused for a time and then had a succession of owners, one of who converted it into a
two family flat. Later it was purchased by Amoco Oil Co. who hoped to locate a service station at 25 Mile Road and Mound.
Shelby Township, as a Bicentennial Project, sought to purchase, remove and restore the building. In
April of 1975 the building was sold to the Shelby Bicentennial Committee for $1.
One of the conditions of the sale was that the building be moved within 90 days.
The original plan was to use an Army cargo helicopter from Selfridge to drop a hook an sling arrangement around the building
and fly it to its new location. It was later decided that this might crush the building, so they attempted to lift it
by its roof. The roof came off! Finally, a U.S. Army Transport crew and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved the
building by ground transport to its present location.
There were many problems! The concrete foundation didn’t fit, the building was placed on the foundation backwards,
the roof was damaged beyond repair, the walls were weakened, and most of the remaining tenants, wood-eating beetles, moved
with the building!
A master carpenter, Heinz Lambertz, and three assistants were hired with Federal funds to solve the problems. A
new roof was put on just weeks before the first snowfall. An exterminator rid the building of its inhabitants, wobbly
walls were secured to the foundation, and the ceiling was braced against the gabled roof. The back of the building was
made to look like the front as doors and what was once a cloakroom were moved. Insulation and new wood siding were added.
The bell tower and its original bell were reinstalled adding to the charm of this one room Schoolhouse. The Andrews
Schoolhouse became the home of the Shelby Township Historical Committee in 1994.