A Pre-Confederate schoolhouse is about to open to a new generation of educators.

The schoolhouse, known as the “Cable School” is on the campus of Elon University. It is believed to have been among the first public schools in the state. The schoolhouse property had been adjacent to the university's campus. The quarter-acre tract was donated to the university four year ago in the hopes that the schoolhouse could be preserved.   

Preservationists believe the school opened in the early 1850s, about a decade after the state legislature authorized local taxes for public education. Those taxes received matching state money, and the schools were known then as “common schools.” Elon students helped with the research of common schools and helped select the furnishings. University Spokesman Eric Townsend says now that the restoration is complete, the old schoolhouse will be used by students in the school of education.

The schoolhouse is a wooden structure that included a living quarters for the teacher. Researchers believe the school was open before the Civil War, closed for a time during the war period, and re-opened in the 1870s. The school was closed in the early 20th century and in more recent times was used to store grain.   

University officials had planned to dedicate the schoolhouse Wednesday but have postponed the dedication because of the threat of severe weather. The dedication is now scheduled for Tuesday, May 6 at 4 p.m.

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