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Students pool efforts to preserve Hornby School artifacts

Friday, October 30, 2015

Old class photo outside 1880s Hornby School

The Hornby School Museum is cool, especially in winter! For this reason, fans of the historic 140-year-old one-room schoolhouse have launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to raise $1,000 toward the purchase of a new furnace to heat the schoolhouse and save the history it has to offer. On the first day of the campaign, Oct. 28, the group reached its $1,000 goal and is continuing to receive pledges to make much-needed improvements.

The online fundraising campaign is being organized by Mercyhurst University’s Quickstarter initiative and funded by the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority’s Ignite Erie: Industry-University Business Acceleration Collaborative, led by Mercyhurst and Penn State Behrend.

Project manager is Joe Gargano, with video and photography support from Brent Clapper, both of Mercyhurst. Nicholas Ranayhossaini of Penn State Behrend contributed graphic design skills.

Hornby School is a one-room schoolhouse at 10000 Station Road in Greenfield Township that operated for 81 years (1875-1956). In 1973, the Hornby School Restoration Society was founded to restore the building to its original glory. The building is now a museum showcasing artifacts from the schoolhouse in its prime. However, cold Erie winters adversely affect the condition of the museum and its contents, such as original textbooks, photographs and clothes from the era.

Individuals who back the IndieGoGo project receive rewards, including unique pamphlets about the 1880s school experience, Hornby School calendars and more.

For more information, check the restoration society’s Facebook page or e-mail