The Higginsport School is a former school being renovated in Higginsport, Ohio.
The first school for the county, a one-room log cabin structure, was built in 1807 near the banks of the Ohio River in Higginsport. 1 The school was relocated to Robert Higgins’ warehouse in 1822, but due to the growth of the village, a larger log structure was built in the public square in 1828.
The first brick school in Higginsport was completed in 1845. 1 The new building contained four departments but it was soon at over capacity. As early as 1868, measures were undertaken for a bigger facility but no action was taken until the spring of 1880 when an election was held that resulted in the citizens voting for a larger building. The estimated cost of the new school was $15,000, although it was completed for $3,000 over budget.
The new two-story school was modeled after a similar structure in Maysville, Kentucky, although Higginsport’s was considered “much handsomer and commodious.” 1 The gothic-inspired building was constructed entirely of brick and contained six rooms with 16-foot ceilings. The cornerstone contained a copy of each newspaper published in the county along with sketches of the schools in Higginsport’s history, coins, portraits of county officials and Presidents of the United States.
Attendance in 1881 was 250 segregated students. 1
Growth and Closure
The Higginsport School was expanded in 1930 with a gymnasium and again in 1932 with a cafeteria. It was at this time that indoor plumbing was installed. 1
In 1952, the Higginsport School was consolidated into the Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington School district. 1 Elementary students continued to use the building until 1987 when it closed. The property was sold to the village of Higginsport for $1. While the gymnasium was initially used for dances and other functions, the cost of heating and cooling the building proved to be a financial burden to the village.
The school was, for all intents and purposes, abandoned until 1997, when it was used as an emergency shelter for Higginsport residents when the Ohio River flooded. But it was the flood that provided the school with attention and support, especially from the Higginsport Community Improvement Group. In less than one year, the organization applied for a State Historical Building designation, and in 1999, it was awarded the status as a historic site. 1 A grant was obtained to help defray the cost of a new roof.