The Friends of the Vilna Pool Hall Society has recently undertaken the restoration of the old Stry School building, which is now located in Vilna on the IronHorse Trail.
The society intends to restore the building and the contents as close as possible to the original look of the building as it would have been when it was in use at the original location.
The society has recently replaced the roof and will be making repairs to the exterior of the building to secure it against the elements before winter sets in. The society is currently working on organizing fundraising to finance the rest of the restoration, which will take place over the next couple of years.
The goals are to restore both the exterior and interior as close as possible with an actual classroom setting as it would have been. The society is looking at the building being used for a number of purposes when it is complete.
One of the goals is to make the classroom available for students to visit and participate in a “day in the life of” as it might have been for students who attended the school.
Other uses the society is looking at using the building for are as a tourism destination for the village, a tourism information center, as a museum with images and artifacts from the period, and possibly as a meeting center for community groups. We are also hoping to organize a reunion in the future.
The society will be looking for financial support in the way of donations and support through our fundraising efforts. We are also looking for classroom items from desks, chairs, blackboards, and other typical classroom items. Tradespeople who would like to contribute with help on the actual restoration would also be much appreciated.
We would also like to acquire any images of the interior or exterior of the building from any period as well as class pictures or any other pictures that includes the school, students & teachers, or school activities. The Society will scan and return all original images. They are only needed long enough to scan them. In most cases, we would only need them for a day or two.
In the coming weeks, the society will further update these pages to include more project details and we will have a more detailed list of items we are looking for to complete the classroom setting.
For both the Stry School and Pool Hall restorations, we are also working on conducting interviews to record oral histories of both buildings. We would be very interested in receiving written stories from anyone’s experiences growing up as well as the opportunity to sit down and record an interview about people’s experiences.
We would appreciate it if any former staff or alumni would get in touch, not only for help with the history, but also so that we can keep them up-to-date with the progress. For those or anyone else, please contact us with your email address or mailing address and we will keep you updated on our progress.
For more information or to contribute images, stories, or artifacts, please contact Francis Parker at 780-636-3363 or by clicking HERE to send us an email.
For a complete list of the items we are looking for, please click the link on the left for ITEMS NEEDED or click HERE.