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Icon to eyesore: History gone but never forgotten

By COURTNEY BOGLE
Posted 8/22/20

What once was a hub for learning on the southern end of Bedford County now lies in ruins after years of neglect and abandonment. The old Pleasant Grove Schoolhouse was recently purchased by residents of the community. Rooted in local history, Pleasant Grove High School was formed in 1921, after consolidating the smaller schoolhouses in the community: Cottage Grove, Stony Point, and Ashland schoolhouses. The school board used the three schoolhouses in the building of Pleasant Grove School...

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Icon to eyesore: History gone but never forgotten

Posted

What once was a hub for learning on the southern end of Bedford County now lies in ruins after years of neglect and abandonment. The old Pleasant Grove Schoolhouse was recently purchased by residents of the community.

Rooted in local history, Pleasant Grove High School was formed in 1921, after consolidating the smaller schoolhouses in the community: Cottage Grove, Stony Point, and Ashland schoolhouses. The school board used the three schoolhouses in the building of Pleasant Grove School.

In June of 1922, the school board decided to also consolidate Oakland and Locust Grove schoolhouses into Pleasant Grove High School. The remains of Locust Grove, Stony Point, Oakland, and Ashland schoolhouses were then sold for $560. The first principal of Pleasant Grove High School was a Mr. Sanders at a salary of $150 per month.

Pleasant Grove School operated until 1977, when Liberty School on Snell Road was opened. Consolidated into the one were the three remaining community schools in Bedford County: Flat Creek, Pleasant Grove, and Wheel. The old Pleasant Grove School was purchased by an individual and renovated into a residence, which it served as up until the last few years.

Current owners are Gene and Shelia Ray, Dustin and Jesse Ray. Gene and Sheila have lived in Bedford County all their lives. 

“It has now been sitting vacant for more than two years, and as a result, has begun to deteriorate,” Gene said. “The roof has collapsed in several locations and the walls have begun to fall in.”

The school is in the process of being torn down, but the new owners would like to salvage the gym—complete with original floors--located in the wood building behind the school, and turn it into a community center. However, they need community support, as the gym will need to be renovated and moved to a new location.

If community support is not received, Gene advised the gym will also be torn down.

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