's Totem Pole Tales- The Pearsall or Maple Grove School
Totem Pole Tales-The Pearsall or Maple Grove School
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook November 9, 2012

Caption:  THE NEW MAPLE GROVE SCHOOL in 1913.  Left to right: County school commissioner (name unknown). students are
Lee Westfal, Clifford Bailey, Charley Sanger, Dolph Wilton, Nellie Sanger, Leona Bailey, Irene Comstock, Marian
Comstock, Nellie Wilton, Alice Bailey and Teacher Winnafred Sleep.
width="600" The school's location was (TWN 33N-RIE-Sec 2). Today the Jerry Gilletts have a home on this site. The school was built close to the road. The Gillett home is just to the west of where the old school stood. We do not have pictures of the first school, but while the new school was being built the students used the old buildings that became the woodshed when the new school opened.
The new school opened in 1913 and was called the Pearsall School and was in Maple Grove Township. Records show that Willard Pearsall owned 120 acres in this area. Just west of the Gillett home is a small lake named Pearsall Lake and the small stream crossing Black River Road south of the Gillett home is called Pearsall Creek. Sometime later the school was called Maple Grove School. By the time I started using the Black River Road to go fishing or hunting the school was owned by a hunting club called "The Falling Leaf Lodge.: They had a sign in the peak of the school. The belfry and bell had been removed by then.
In 1941, Maple Grove Township did not send any officials to the Cheboygan County Commission meeting. The Maple Grove Township records are at the Clark Historical Museum today.
In 1942, Maple Grove Township became part of South Forest Township. Perhaps we should comment on the Maple Grove Township Hall at this time. This beautiful stone building at the intersection of Centerline Road and Clute Road was used as a schoolhouse when the state of Michigan made the Clute Country part of the Pigeon River Reserve and moved the homesteaders. The farms and the Clute School were burned.
Jack Tucker was a student at the Clute School in the 1930s and remembers this well. Today this country is still Jack's second home.
The Maple Grove Township Hall today is owned by a group of hunters known as the Forest Township Hunting Club. Back to the Maple Grove School. In February of 1989 I interviewed Alice (Bailey) Tennant. Alice attended this school and lived on the Bailey Homestead until 1925. The Bailey Homestead is where the Presque Isle County line and Cheboygan County line intersect with the Black River south of the Milligan Highway. The south part of the road today is for walking only. We used to drive to this homestead.. I camped there opening day of trout season in 1955 with the Gerald Northcotts.
This week's picture is from the late Alice Tennant.
-Onaway Outlook, November 9, 2012, p.10.
Retyped by J. Anderson.

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