For the past thirteen summers, open houses at the Bethel School in Berlin Township have been chronicling the era of the one-room school. In cooperation with the Wayne County's Commissioners, the Wayne County Historical Society has preserved the school and given monthly presentations during the warm weather months. Education Committee Chair Dorothy Kieff, believes that this summer's open houses will be more entertaining and informative than ever, starting with June 26, when Florence Southerton and her sisters, Teresa Henderson and Margaret Rickard, will present "Remembering the Laurella and Berlin Valley Schools." The sisters all attended the Laurella School, where their mother, Tessie Lau, taught for many years.
A "reunion gathering" is planned for the July 24 open house. All Bethel School alumni are invited to save that date and spend an afternoon reminiscing. Attempts are being made to contact everyone who attended the school. It is hoped that the alumni attending will be a "discussion panel" for the other guests. Former students are invited to bring their mementos as well as their memories.
On August 28, Carol Henry Dunn will present a program entitled "A Rural Wayne County School in 1920."
All Bethel School open houses are from 1 to 4 pm, with the special presentations at 2 pm. There is no admission charge and everyone, especially children, is invited to attend.
The Bethel School is located on Bethel School Road off Route 652 in Berlin Township. For more information about the school or the programs, call the Wayne County Historical Society at 570-253-3240.