How to see an amazing 1880s schoolhouse while helping a good cause in Butler County

The Liberty Twp. Historical Society will open the doors to the old Hughes one-room schoolhouse for an open house May 4 in conjunction with the annual Garden Club plant sale. This “dunce hat” is perfect for selfies according to Historical Society President Paul Stumpf.
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The Liberty Twp. Historical Society will open the doors to the old Hughes one-room schoolhouse for an open house May 4 in conjunction with the annual Garden Club plant sale. This “dunce hat” is perfect for selfies according to Historical Society President Paul Stumpf.

The Liberty Twp. Historical Society and the Garden Club will host the annual spring open house at the Hughes one-room schoolhouse and plant sale next month.

The historical society open house on May 4 includes tours of the schoolhouse that is furnished just as it was 1887, but this year there will be a new feature. Historical society president and former township fire chief Paul Stumpf said 12 paintings of Butler County barns by retired dentist, artist and author Dr. Robert Kroeger will be on display.

Last summer Kroeger began his quest to paint pictures of significant barns in every county statewide, he picked 10 historic structures in Liberty Twp, the Muhlhauser Barn in West Chester Twp. and one in Ross Twp. When Stumpf heard about Kroeger’s mission he grabbed his camera.

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“I was kind of surprised, I’m thinking I’m going to go out, I’m thinking about 10 or 12 off the top of my head,” Stumpf said previously. “Then once I started going out and driving around and snapping quick pictures, I came up with 40 some.”

Showing the oil paintings now will help with an auction the historical society is planning for the fall.

“The goal is for a fundraiser for us,” Stumpf said. “Some of them we’re going to split (the sale price with Kroeger) and then the others we get the full amount of whatever we auction them off at. They’re kind of neat.”

In addition to viewing the paintings Stumpf said people can enjoy ringing the school bell, studying other artifacts and he said they recently made a “dunce” cap to go with the dunce stool “it’s kind of a neat thing for people to take selfies.”

He said holding the open house in conjunction with the annual plant sale next door at the Liberty Early Childhood School helps both organizations. Naomi Ormes is in charge of the Garden Club plant sale. The club was started in 1973 and they have had the sale almost every year since.

She said they have”tables and tables and tables full” of cuttings members dig from their gardens, annuals, hanging baskets, potted plants and more.

“We have it rain or shine unless it’s awful, awful,” she said.

The open house runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and the plant sale lasts until 2 p.m. at 6010 Princeton Road.

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