HEMLOCK — It isn’t often you get to look behind the curtain, and glimpse into the echoes of a time long ago.
On Sept. 19 I had the pleasure of doing a preview tour of the old Hemlock School now known as the Little Lakes Community Center.
It just so happens that I was at the right place, at the right time, so I was able to get the entire grand experience by those who worked so hard to keep it alive.
Lovely people are the keepers of this once beloved school in the sleepy hamlet that nestles close to Livonia.
As I saw the history room my mind took me to a time in the late 1920s when this place was bustling with eager young students. The school was erected in 1929 after the other one burned in 1927. Several of these students thought so well of the school that they came back to teach. Students like Barbara Connolly and Jane Barnard, who have rooms dedicated to them in the center. Students like Jack Evans who saw true greatness in the place that gave him the tools for success. Evans played basketball in the gymnasium, which is now dedicated to him. He saw potential in an old school, and saved it in the early 1980s.
It is things like this that remind us how important a hometown is to the ones who were born and raised there. The ones who went there for an education. The ones who had dreams and hopes of a great future.
Hemlock is a forgotten piece of the world that holds so much history within her small walls. If you look closely you will see that it isn’t so different from your hometown. There are pieces of us scattered everywhere as we go through this journey called life.
It was so wonderful to walk the hallways, peak in the classrooms, and get a feel for what adventures are in store for this historic gem. It even has a fallout shelter still intact, and a large vault that kept the records protected.
There is no doubt that this building is loved, and that those who rescued her from destruction want only the best for her.
Several community members throughout the Little Lakes Region have already taken part in her continued legacy. There are several workshops offered, several rooms rented out to artists, and a woodshop in the basement. There are dreams of bringing the stage back to life with the sounds of theater.
If you take a stroll through the building you will hear the story of those who walked the halls, dreamed in the classrooms, and felt inspired to grow within these walls.
The Little Lakes Community Center will bring a vision several decades in the making to life, and honor all those who came before. It will remind us that if we dare to dream, and hope for our hometown’s legacy to survive it will come true.
To learn more about the Little Lakes Community Center visit https://www.littlelakesny.org/