Attractions History & Heritage

Chana School

Oregon, IL - Ogle County

Address:

  • 201 N. River Road
  • Oregon, IL,
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Details

The Chana 2 room school, a National Register of Historic Places Site, began as a 1 room school in 1883 in Pinerock Township. An additional room was added in 1893, making it unique among Illinois country schools, most of which were only 1 room.

“Built in 1883, the Chana School was typical of education in the late 1800s, but it was not a typical rural school. The Village of Chana took such pride in its construction that the building is much larger and more ornate than most contemporary Midwestern schools.

The school started as a one-room building. In 1893 a bell-tower entry and second room (at a right angle to the first) was added, presumably making this school unique in nineteenth century Illinois school construction.

It continued as a school until 1953, when the large room became a bus garage while the other remained a classroom. In the early 1960s it was closed altogether.

Then in 1998 the school property was sold and the schoolhouse was scheduled for demolition. The Chana School Foundation was formed and a large grassroots effort of volunteers and donors, saved the school, moved it to Oregon Park East, and restored it by 2003.

The school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 as the only two-room wooden school in Illinois. Chana school has been restored to the mid-1890s appearance. The building features three front doors ( one for girls and two for boys), a bell-tower room with the original school bell, and cloakrooms for boys and girls. There are curved walls; fourteen foot ceilings, and painted pressed tin walls and ceilings.”

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