Old School Museum Getting Ready To Open Goes Up In Flames - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/29/06-Grand Saline

Old School Museum Getting Ready To Open Goes Up In Flames

In one night, an East Texas school loses years of its history.   The structure of the Old School Museum in Grand Saline is still standing, but the memories inside are now nothing but ashes.   The former high school building ravaged by fire Thursday night, is located at the corner of Main and High Streets in Grand Saline. The building was supposed to have it's grand opening, as a museum in three weeks.   The Van Zandt County Fire Marshal is classifying the cause of the fire as suspicious in origin, however, that does not necessarily mean this is arson. 

Residents of Grand Saline woke up this morning to find part of their history was gone.   The building, now known as the Old School House was built in 1920. Sixs years ago, a group called Friends of the Old School decided to turn the building into a museum.

"We wanted to restore it," said Ed Bailey, Friends of the Old School President.  "Store some of the items that people had that they would like to keep and come and visit and remember the old times." After four years of hard work, it was finally ready to open, but now the future of the Old School Museum has faded away.

"My heart just broke," said Genelle Crocker, Friends of the Old School Secretary. "It's just been so much work and so much stuff in there that you can't replace."

"It's a devastation you know," said Bailey. "Its' hard to believe something like was happening."  Inside the flames, were old football jackets, cheerleading uniforms and high school diplomas.

"They came from people that donated them to us," said Crocker. "Old old settlers that were here."

"We recovered some of the items," said Bailey. "Some of the people have been very good to take them home with them and dry them out."   With just a fraction of what they once had, members of the Friends of the Old School say they are not sure what they are going to do.

"I don't know," said Crocker. "We've already got donations that people have told us they've been saving, so if we start again, we're ready to help you, so that sounds good." Members of the Friends of the Old School say they will meet this Tuesday to discuss what to do next. The Van Zandt County Fire Marshal says the building represents a $250,000 loss.  

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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