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The schoolhouse was constructed in 1878 to serve the village platted on the north side of Fife Lake. However, its time was short as a school because the two plats joined to incorporate as a village in 1885, and a new larger school was built. Shortly thereafter, the building was used as the township hall. Sometime in the early 1940’s it shared space with the village library, and later, as the township built its own facilities, it became the sole occupant as the Fife Lake Public Library, paying a nominal fee of $1.00 per year to Fife Lake Township.

As a result of a community campaign, over $700,000 was raised to build a new, beautiful library, and consequently the old schoolhouse became available. Although public sentiment favored continuing the arrangement that had been in effect with the library, Fife Lake Township decided to sell the building and offered it to the Historical Society for $50,000. A capital campaign was established to buy the schoolhouse and to do major repairs to the building and much needed improvements at the museum.

Today the schoolhouse stands as a realistic representation of an 1880’s rural school. Each year the 4th grade students, who are studying Michigan history, spend a day experiencing what school was like over 100 years ago. They learn the rules of the time, do a spelling bee, do recitations, and vie for the dunce chair. The students then tour the Historical Museum and the walking tour to complete their day. They love it !!








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