A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Staff at the Elkhart County Historical Museum will be giving tours of the museum building and discussing the building’s history as Bristol High School Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The tours will be a part of the annual Bristol Homecoming celebration.
“The building, which has housed the museum for over 40 years, has a rich history of its own,” said museum manager Matt Schuld. “We are grateful to have such an outstanding historic building in which to display the history of Elkhart County. Through the work of groups like the Elkhart County Historical Society, the Elkhart Parks Department, and the Bristol Alumni Association, the history of the building and Elkhart County has been kept in the public eye. We are eager to provide the public with a look at the entire history and evolution of the building.”
The original school was built in 1903, and several additions were added over the last century. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the school was designed by architect George Selby, who also designed the Goshen College Administration building.
When it opened, the Bristol building consolidated eight one-room school houses into one building. It has been known as the Washington Township School, The Bristol School and the Bristol High School.
The last class graduated in 1966, and today the building operates as a museum through a partnership between the Elkhart County Parks Department and the Elkhart County Historical Society.
“The staff here is proud to work in a local landmark, and we truly value the work of the many community groups and volunteers who have ensured the preservation of this building,” Schuld said.
The tour will include many areas that are generally off limits to the public, and members of the Bristol Alumni Association will be on hand to talk about their memories of the building. The tour will begin at the front entrance to the museum at 11 a.m. There is no cost to attend.
About the museum
According to facility personnel, the Elkhart County Historical Museum fosters appreciation and preservation of local history and culture through exhibits, educational programs, and an accessible library and archives.
The museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. There is no charge for admission, but donations are accepted. For more information, visit the website www.elkhartcountyhistory.org. The museum is located at 304 W. Vistula (Ind. 120) in Bristol.