Cullers Run School is one of the most complete restorations of a one-room school in the nation. It is chock full of authentic memorabilia: the original bell, pot-bellied stove, teacher’s desk, student benches, lunch buckets, textbooks, papers and photographs.
The original school was a log structure built up the road from the current location on land belonging to Henry and Phebe Feathers Cullers. The Board of Education purchased the 1/2 acre for $15.00 by deed dated June 16, 1879. The log school building served the community until a new school building was completed in 1898.
By 1914, the one-room building (18′ x 26′) became overcrowded and a second room was added. The current two-room school building sits on 1/2 acre of land that belonged to James and Rosa Shipe Cullers estate and was purchased by Kenneth and Anne Shifflet in 1977.
Built at a cost of $137, the Cullers Run School served as a school house for generations of children from 1898 to 1956. That the school survives in pristine condition is a credit to Ken and Anne who bought the 82-acre farm that included the school. Because the school was abandoned, the land – but not the building – reverted to the Shifflets. A year later, they bought the building for $500 at a school property auction.
With warm memories of the one-room school he attended in Pennsylvania, Ken organized volunteers from alumni and area residents to restore the building and acquire authentic memorabilia. Anne did research to document the school’s history. In Fall 1898, the school was opened to the public for Heritage Weekend and it has been a tour attraction every year since.
In August 2004, the Shifflets donated the school and 1/2 acre of land to the Cullers Run School Association on condition that it preserve and maintain the structure as it existed between 1989 and 1956, and that artifacts placed in the school be of that period and typical of Hardy County schools.
For additional history on Country Schools, Hardy Schools, Mrs. Jenkins, One-Room School Houses and The Cullers Run School, view excerpts from John Jenkins, Jr.’s Schools of Yesterday.
Directions: Take Route 259, about two miles south of Mathias, to Crab Run Road. Turn right onto Cullers Run Road, four miles to the school on the left.
The history on this page is courtesy of the Hardy County Tour and Crafts Association.
Photos courtesy of Sara Jenkins-Riggleman.