Ripley School

Ripley |

Significance

The small town of Ripley along the north shore of the Portage owes its existence to the Franklin Mine’s original stamp mill, which was built here around 1860. Along with the mill the company also constructed a line of company houses for the workers employed there. By 1890 both the Franklin and Quincy Mills in Hancock were forced to relocate due to their mine tailings encroaching on the Portage shipping canal. Fortunately for the town, the Franklin Mill property became the site for Quincy’s new smelter and the town-site was quickly rejuvenated by the new industry at its doorstep. In addition to the Smelter, several other businesses moved into the area – setting up shop atop the old stamp sands that had been deposited by the old mill. In response the small town’s population grew in leaps and bounds. The large increase in population quickly meant an increase in school-aged children as well, prompting Quincy to construct a new larger school to accommodate them in 1909.

Description

This massive two-story hipped roof beauty is faced with Jacobsville sandstone and is finished off with a large cupola. The main entrance is set off by four soaring pilasters topped by a roof-line pediment. Stately smooth-faced sandstone pilasters in the buildings corners and a series of round-arched windows above the entranceway finish off the Classical Revival structure.

Contemporary Use

Today the old school serves as an apartment complex. Though its compliment of large windows have since been filled in, the building’s impressive stone facade and entranceway has remained intact.

Public Access

The Ripley school is open to residents of the apartment building only, but can be easily viewed from the neighboring highway.

Directions

The Ripley School sits up on a hill overlooking the Portage Canal just to the east of Hancock. From Hancock follow M26 out of town towards Lake Linden. After a mile, turn left onto Ripley Street and head up one block. Take a right onto 2nd Street and follow it a short distance. The parking lot to the school will be on the left and the school straight ahead.