The original Hessel School House, as it appeared in 1907
1938 to 1958
The Hessel School House was built in 1937 through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and welcomed its first students in September of 1938. Of handsome brick and stone Georgian architecture and completely symmetrical in design, it housed grades kindergarten through fifth in two classrooms, with the central part of the building featuring a large, multi-purpose room to serve as an auditorium (with a stage and its own side entry), lunch room, and gymnasium. The building was steam heated and beautifully located near the site of the former wooden framed school (see photo above).
The school closed in 1959, when a new facility was built in Cedarville to accommodate elementary and secondary school students from both Hessel and Cedarville.
1960's to 1970's
A printing company took over the building in the late 1950s, turning the classroom that housed kindergarten through 2nd grade on the west end of the building into a print shop, and added on a garage, which eliminated the common room’s west wall of windows. The business was closed in the late 1960s, and remained unoccupied for approximately ten years.
1970's to 2013
Azor Sheffield, a retired captain of the Toledo (Ohio) Fire Department, bought the property in the early 1970s to convert into a private residence for himself and his wife.
The Sheffields tried to restore as much of the interior as possible to its original state, but added a loft over the common area for guest bedroom space, and converted the boys’ lavatory entry into a den. The print shop space became a workshop for Azor, who was a woodworker, and a fireplace was built in the same section to serve the common area. The rest of the common area was left intact to become their “great room” for living space. The east classroom (3rd through 5th grades) served as the Sheffields’ bedroom.
Upon Azor Sheffield’s death in July of 2013, his two daughters’ inherited the property, listing it for sale in July, 2014.
2015 to Present Day
A group of former students helped form a non-profit corporation, and with the assistance of caring summer residents purchased it in January 2015. Immediately, members of the Avery Family, who are regarded as the oldest summer settlers in the area (circa 1850s), contributed substantial funding to support the restoration, which is underway. Please come by to see our progress.