Carlisle Local School History Is Saved By The Bell


Photo's by Tangie Taylor

Photos by Tangie Taylor of TLT Action Photos

CARLISLE, OH --  When entering the Carlisle Local School Campus, students, parents and visitors are  met by a new school memorial...The 1874 Carlisle Bell. 

The memorial, which was dedicated during the Carlisle Railroad Days earlier this month, represents close to 150 years worth of history for the Carlisle School District. Each marker represents a different building or addition to a building that once stood on the grounds where the new building stands. The plaques have been placed in chronological order to tell the district's history.

The current 2023 Carlisle School Board Members dedicated the bell memorial during Carlisle Railroad Days. (Left to right) Kelly Milligan, Molly McIntosh, William Jewell, Missie Miller, and Amanda Morris

"Construction of the bell memorial was completed using bricks from the new building as well as several bricks from the original Chamberlain building," reads the Carlisle School Building Memorial Plaque. "The brick monument on which the bell is placed contains building stones from former buildings and the 1930 cornerstone, which also contains a time capsule inside the stone."

Along with the 1930 time capsule, the 2023 cornerstone contains a time capsule with items from today's students.

In the history book of Carlisle "The Jersey Settlement in Ohio 1800 - 1990" the bell is mentioned as early as 1874...."In 1874, a two story brick building of four rooms was erected in the center of Carlisle at what is now 718 Central Avenue. It had a broad curving stairway, cloakrooms and a belfry. A heavy rope reached to the first floor where the bell was rung."  

Prior to  the "Carlisle" school, there was another school in the area called the Lane School that was built in 1854. It was a one room brick building located at 8343 Martz-Paulin Road. 

Also, in the area was The Byers School. It was located on the east side of the Carlisle area close to 9911 S. Union Road, which was called Byers Road when it was part of Montgomery County. According to "The Jersey Settlement in Ohio 1800 - 1990" Byers School was transferred from Montgomery County's Miami Township to Warren County's Franklin Township in 1855. Then in 1868, it went back to Montgomery County's Miami Township, but in 1909 took the name of the Chautauqua Special School District. 

In 1928, The Carlisle School Board decided to consolidate the three schools, and in 1930 the corner stone for the Carlisle Centralized Schools was laid.

When the new school was built the bell followed and a plaque was made dedicating the school.

In 1951-1952 a wing was added to the school for kindergarten, elementary classrooms, and home economics plus a new cafeteria, a gymnasium and science rooms rooms were added. 

By 1957 enrollment had doubled to 1,115 and a new elementary school was built. 

Then, in 1961 voters in the Carlisle School District passed a levy allowing for a new junior high building to be built as well as improvements to the high school. The new junior high was built on the northern part of the campus, which sits in Montgomery County at 100 Jamaica Road. 

By 1964, enrollment had again doubled to 2,142 students, and by 1972 high school students were moving into the state of the art modified open space high school building with carpeting and climate control. 

Then, in the early 1990's the schools began to be given names. In 1993, the elementary school was given the name Alden Brown Elementary after being dedicated to longtime school board member Alden Brown. 

In 1995, the Intermediate School, which was originally built as the junior high, was given the name Grigsby Intermediate after its dedication to Bobby Grigsby longtime school superintendent.

Also in 1995, the 1874 Bell was restored and dedicated to Robert Callahan, a Carlisle graduate, Carlisle's first attorney to have an office in Carlisle and member of the Carlisle School Board. 

Then in 1996, the original Carlisle School built in 1930, and was now being used as the Carlisle Junior High, became known as Chamberlain Middle School after being dedicated to Charles "Bud" Chamberlain, for his dedication to education. 

Thing stayed quiet for the Carlisle School District for about 25 years when a levy was passed to build a new school building that housed all the grades and cause all the old buildings to be raised. 

The restored 1874 bell, along with the plaques that were once housed in the  buildings that no longer stand, can now be seen and enjoyed in this beautiful memorial that stands to keep the Carlisle Local School District's history alive.

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