{The following is from, Elsieís Bits N Pieces, which was a newsletter, dated March 15, 1981, 104 Orchard St., Wintersville, OH, 43953. If you know anything about the Bantam Ridge Historical group, please contact the chapter at:

740.346.2820
100 Fernwood Road
PO BOX 2367
Wintersville, OH 43953

We would like to contact the group if it still exists today.}

BANTAM RIDGE SCHOOL

The Bantam Ridge School (Cross Creek Twp.) opened its doors in 1875. It was just a little one-room school with a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room, and a little outhouse out back. There were a few blackboards and the teachers supplied most of the books. The library was comprised of books that could be spared by those warm-hearted instructors and parents that had a deep interest in bettering their children and community.

The winters would bring the sleds to school with students to ride during their lunch break, after which everyone would gather around the pot bellied stove to dry their cloths enough to be able to sit in them for the rest of the day. With this stove being the only supply of heat there were times when things could get pretty cold in there. Bantam Ridge has been known for the cold and windy winters with the snow blowing, the winds howling and the drifts building up.

In the spring they would pick mountain tea leaves in Zamboraís woods. They had a rope swing in the tree outside that seemed to swing to the top of the tree. Eating lunches outside when the weather permitted might not be the modern cafeteria, but they enjoyed it much more. The hop scotch games and jumping rope was a favorite pass time enjoyment.

As the younger students would get their work finished they would listen to the older grades and learn from them. The teachers would spend more time on the 3 Rís. They didnít have all the fancy school teaching equipment but they had something that most children of todayís schools will never experience.

The memories of the pie socials, spelling bees, ice cream making, box lunches that they would bid on, Christmas times, and Easter egg hunts. April would bring the last day of school. This being a farming community the older children were needed. The school was important to the entire community. Everyone would share in the events.

In 1955 they decided to close the doors of this part of Americaís past. The windows were boarded up and the stove removed. The bell went to a church nearby and the wooden floor fell silent of footsteps. Never again would the happy voices go through the room, nor would there be happy memories to fill the hearts of the children to stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Some concerned citizens of the area made the request that the building be tore down. It was a safety hazard to the approaching drivers along the road. Thus the Bantam Ridge Historic Society was formed. Former students and people who just loved this school took the task of saving the building and making a lot of work for themselves. They never realized how much work until they started the plan in action.

A small part of Americaís past has been saved thanks to the dedicated people of this historical society.