On December 7th, the town of Dauphin Island experienced the excitement of moving their beloved Little Red School House in an effort to keep a piece of history alive. The Little Red School House was originally built about ninety years ago next to the Shell Mounds and the thought of seeing it torn down did not sit well with the residents of Dauphin Island. When the residents heard the news that it would cost an estimated $300,000 they were not discouraged. Instead, they donated much time and money into some profitable fundraisers and events. These included a raffle held at the “Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo” and the “Stirring the Sand” events, along with many more. More than $150,000 was raised and a lot was cleared.
After much petitioning, planning, donation, and time it was decided that the School House would make its new appearance just one mile east, across from the current Town Hall. The move was exhilarating as many residents joined in with the Dauphin Island Elementary School students to watch as three semi trucks carried pieces of the school house down the street. Michelle Matthews says, “The exposed rooms evoked the feeling of peeking inside a dollhouse.” Equations were still written on the chalkboards and some of the children’s art remained untouched on the walls. The School House will now become a local spot for meetings and gatherings along with it’s main purpose as the Dauphin Island Heritage and Art Center. Once the necessary repairs have been made and artifacts and art have been donated, the School House will once again open restored to it’s former glory. This was a large and daunting project to say the least, but local officials and residents seem to be happy with what has been accomplished and excited for the times to come.
The Islanders have been obviously sentimental over the old building and they are grateful that the town has heard their hearts. It is the hope of many that the Little Red School House will remain in it’s current location providing a
thrill of the past for ninety more years to come.