'It's too far gone': Community says goodbye to century-old school building

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STOPOVER, Ky. (WYMT) - After more than 120 years, a former one-room schoolhouse in Pike County ends its service to the Stopover community.

“This is the last old, original, one-room schoolhouse that’s still standing in Pike County, to my knowledge," said owner Josh Mayhorn.

Mayhorn recently took over ownership of the Camp Creek Schoolhouse, a home that has been in his family, in some capacity, for years.

His grandparents went to school in the structure. Years later, after the school closed in the 1960s, the family bought the property and lived in the former school building.

“It’s sad in a way," he said. "I know the historical value into it and all the memories that I’ve had growing up here.”

Mayhorn attempted to restore the old building but was unable to salvage its bones.

"Unfortunately, it’s too far gone now," he said.

He decided to tear it down and build a home on the property in a similar style to the schoolhouse.

“I know it won’t be the original," Mayhorn said. "But, when people come, they’ll look at it and it will remind them of what used to be here.”

Clell Blankenship lives next to the property and has also been invested in its history. He is Mayhorn's uncle, but he also attended school in the building for six years.

"I got my hind-end busted all the time," he laughed.

Blankenship said the building holds many memories but he knows it is time to say goodbye.

"It’ll be sad to look over there and it not there," Blankenship said. "But he’s going to build back and, if I live, I’ll help him."

Mayhorn said he was tearing down the structure in phases to allow the community a chance to say goodbye. He has already stripped it down to the most basic structure, which he says is the way it looked when the school was in operation more than 100 years ago.

He expects to completely demolish the building before the end of the year.

He said he has always enjoyed hearing the public stop by the school to talk about their memories and he hopes the new structure will be similar enough that those memories can live on.

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