The story of a forgotten America.

Higginsport School

The Higginsport School is a formerly abandoned school under renovations in Higginsport, Ohio.

The first school for Brown County was a one-room log structure built in 1807 near the banks of the Ohio River in Higginsport. 1 The school was relocated to Robert Higgins’ warehouse in 1822 and to a larger log structure in Higginsport’s public square in 1828.

The first brick school in the town was completed in 1845, but it was soon overcapacity. 1 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 school building.

The estimated cost of the new Higginsport School was $15,000, although it was completed at the cost of $18,000 in 1881. 1 The new two-story late-Victorian and Italianate-styled building was modeled after a similar school in Maysville, Kentucky, and consisted of six rooms with 16-foot ceilings with room for 250 students. 1 The cornerstone contained a copy of each newspaper published in the county along with sketches of the earlier schools in Higginsport, coins, portraits of county, state, and federal officials.

The school was expanded in 1930 with a gymnasium and again in 1932 with a cafeteria. Modern indoor plumbing was installed throughout the complex with the latest addition 1

Higginsport School was consolidated into the Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington School district in 1952, and elementary students continued to use the building until 1987 when it was mothballed. 1 The property was later sold to the village for $1. While the gymnasium was initially used for dances and other functions, the cost of heating and cooling the entire complex proved to be a financial burden to the village, and the school was abandoned until 1997 when it was used as an emergency shelter for local residents when the Ohio River flooded.

The flood provided the school building with attention and support, and in less than one year, the Higginsport Community Improvement Group (HCIG) applied for a State Historical Building designation. In 1999, the Higginsport School became a state historic building, which allowed the HCIG to apply for a grant to defray the cost of a new roof on the complex. 1



  1. “Higginsport School.” Village of Higginsport, Ohio. 14 Nov. 2009 Article.


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I went to school there, I thought I remember it being white. But, I remember a maypole on the playground. Have never seen one anywhere else. It was so fun. Schools today would never allow one.

Higginsport School is no longer abandoned.
I just purchased it and intend to restore the original 1910 lustre of the outside and save what is possible on the inside. At present, a large room will be made into the Higginsport Police Department while the other rooms will be part of a major rehabilitation/recovery center. The gymnasium attached to the rear will be turned into a Community Center, Meetin Hall, and Dinner theater facility or multi-purpose facility.

I see this building every Sunday when I go to church and I love this buildingg haunted or not it is this best building I’ve ever seen and I’d like to buy it and I DO NOT APPRECIATE PEOPLE TALKING CRAP ABOUT IT, but I almost had a heart attack I thought someone was going to tear it down but I like so much it’s my building

I hope the old school can be restored. I remember going to grade school there in in 1950's and what wonderful teachers and principals we had. I realize now that their job had to very hard considering some of the children missed a lot of school due to working on their farms. The teachers made extreme efforts to keep the students caught up with the rest of their class. I also remember the great fun we had at the sock hops in the 50's and 60's. It was a beautiful building and it makes me sad to think that it might be too late to restore it.

Pastor Bud …. Wish I could give you a HUGE HUG !!!!! I’ve seen a lot of the old schools get a “FACE LIFT” to become overnight stay places for vacationers, haunted hunters (big money …lol). etc. And those of us who have Great Memories of attending school there – would LOVE to revisit !!! What are your plans for it?? Nancy

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