The octagonal building, known as the Roundhouse, was a familiar sight at the Cardington School (Nichols Street) for many years and is recalled by a dwindling number of people as time passes but I found it fascinating and want to share its history.
According to board of education records, the contract for building the roundhouse was let in 1884 at a cost of $275. The building was erected as an observatory to house the school’s telescope which was purchased the same year. Astronomy was taught as part of the school curriculum and the roundhouse used for that purpose until the World War I period.
Then used for storage the Roundhouse originally stood on a knoll located near the site of a drinking fountain on the school playground. The knoll was graded off during a school expansion program and the roundhouse was moved to the edge of the then football field where it served as a concession stand when football returned to Cardington in 1947. The Roundhouse was replaced when a new concession stand was built in 1960. The telescope from the roundhouse was removed when the building was first moved and it was used and cared for by the late Harold Burt, a local amateur astronomer.
Later, the telescope was acquired by Cardington High School student Jim Dominy who was joined by students with the same interest, studying the universe.Jim went on to become a professor of Astronomy at a school in a western state. Although no definite date can be found for the razing of the round house, it is thought the building came down in the 1970’s. I have a photo of the 1948 baseball team with Coach Dennis Bell all seated next to the Roundhouse.
I remember some of us as students tossing balls over the building, which now is part of our school history that I hope will not be forgotten.
August of 1926
The Cardington High School Class of 1909 was holding its 17th class reunion at the South Marion Street Cardington home of class member Fannie Myers. The class had 24 classmates.
People were singing “Heebie Jeebies!”
August of 1946
Junior fair board directors were Dale Hartpence, president; Dick Palmer, vice president; Doris Royston, secretary- treasurer. Other members were Alice Randall, Ernest Heimlich, Warren Squires, Donna-belle Zeger, Robert Fisher, Howard Gompf, Paul Bowman, Gerald Rinehart, David Lloyd, Harold Keaton, George Arndt, Beverly Worster and Jean Winand
Ida McNare, only American woman to serve in Russia with the American Red Cross during and after the war, arrived at her home in Cardington to remain for an indefinite period. She was making her home with Mr. and Mrs. W N Edgell. Johnny Mercer’s “Personality” was popular
August of 1956
The new Marengo post office was pictured. There were three rural carriers: Harold Rolston, Emmett Crissinger and Ernest Wilson.
Cardington graduate Don Kelly was signed by the Cleveland Indians for their farm system. Kelly, 1952 CHS grad, had been selected twice on the all Big Ten team and was an all Ohio star in basketball while at Cardington. He also played baseball and football at Cardington. Perry Como’s “Hot Diggity” was a popular song