Hundreds Step Back In Time at the Weber Blaess Ice Cream Social

With the classes just around the corner, hundreds of people visited the Weber Blaess One Room Schoolhouse to learn what school was once like.

With the start of classes just a couple weeks into the future, people took a trip back in time Sunday for the Weber Blaess One Room Schoolhouse ice cream social.

The biannual educational event is a fundraiser for the Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation.

Families gathered for a full range of activities including school house re-enactments, turn of the century games like graces, hopscotch, hoops, stilts and checkers, a croquet tournament, live entertainment, watermelon seed spitting contest, sing-a-long, and fire brigade for kids. Artists were on hand with their historical paintings, and there were arts and crafts for children as well. 

Connnor Wall, a Saline fifth grader, visited the school house with his mom Arlene.

“It’s all a lot of fun,” he said, “but I’d say the ice cream is the best.”  

He wasn't alone in his opinion. Organizers ran out of ice cream shortly after 3 p.m., with nearly an hour left in the event. Attendance was much larger than in past years, despite a heavy afternoon rain shower that chased some people away.

The food tent, featuring hot dogs grilled by the Saline Area Fire Department, and ice cream and cake, was typically busy with a steady line of people ready for lunch. 

Sisters Marlena,10, and Karissa, 5, enjoyed their afternoon ice cream treat as well. 

“I like the ice cream and the umbrellas,” Marlena said.

In fact, white lace parasols were quite popular with the ladies, young and old, and were seen perusing the grounds and activities. 

Dave and Raye Holden placed a bid for the silent auction.

Dave Holden is running for a seat on the Saline School Board this Fall.  “We wanted to see the school house,” he said. “I’d never been in there before.” 

Inside the school house, past era re-enactments were taking place, educating those packed into the classroom. 

Collin Wagner, who is entering fourth grade this year, enjoyed his role of a 19th century schoolboy. 

“I liked the rehearsals too,” he said. 

City Councilman Brian Marl beat out school principals Brad Bezeau and Les Sharon in the watermelon spitting contest. The City and School Board faced off later in a much anticipated Croquet Tournament, although with the rain falling, scorekeeping was unofficial.

Funds raised at the event will go toward general maintenance of the school house. The fence and shed need repainting and the west wall of the school needs re-siding. Approximately 1,100 Saline Area Schools students visit the school house annually as part of their Michigan history curriculum.


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