Ellington Schoolhouse #2 Move

Schoolhouse ready to moveThe Winnebago Historical Society set Saturday, April 15th 2000 as the date for the move of the old Hancock County Ellington #2 school house building to their Heritage Park of North Iowa property on the south edge of Forest City, Iowa.

The non-profit organization moved the 100-year old structure using turn-of-the-century house moving techniques. "We wanted the move to be pretty much the way a structure like this would have been moved in the 1920's," said Ron Holland, President of Ron Holland House Moving Inc. Steel-wheeled dollies and wooden timbers will be used for the move, just like it was done at the turn of the century. A big attraction was the use of an antique steam engine to pull the schoolhouse from its current location 4 miles east of Highway 69 south of Forest City on county road B14 to the Heritage Park site. A 1921 Greyhound steam engine was use for the move and was assisted by a 1919 Wood Bros. engine and a 1919 10-20 Townsend gas tractor. The engines and tractor are all owned by Jerred Ruble, Hanlontown, Iowa.

The 25-ton schoolhouse was placed on steel-wheeled dollies about a week before the move. The move itself consisted of approximately four miles and took about three hours to complete. Several stops were made along the way as Hancock County REC workmen, who graciously donating their time, worked to either drop or raise power lines so the structure could pass safely. Since the steam engine burns wood and consumes water to make the steam, one stop was required to take on wood and water as well.

schoolhouse on the moveDuring the move, a full course meal was cooked in the smoke box of the steam engines, which the move crew consumed once the schoolhouse arrived at Heritage Park. Souvenir buttons were also available for sale to help defray some of the costs involved in the restoration project.

"The Winnebago Historical Society is very appreciative of the donated labor, equipment and expertise provided by Ron Holland House Moving and the Hancock County REC" stated Lyle Wignes, president of the Historical Society. Wignes goes on to say, "A project like this would be impossible without community minded people such as Ron Holland and Ken Norem, Operations Manager of the Hancock County REC."

A video of the move has been produced and is available for purchase. The video was created by editing the footage from several spectators. All proceeds from the sale of the video will be used to help fund projects at Heritage Park of North Iowa, including the restoration of Ellington School #2. Cost of the video is $25.00 and includes shipping to addresses in the continental United States. You may view a trailer of the video below.  To place an order please send your name address and the $25.00 to Winnebago Historical Society, Box 27, Forest City, IA 50436.

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