Iron Works School House, Pembroke, ca. 1910

Description

The schoolhouse in Pembroke was part of the "English Village" constructed by the Pembroke Ironworks Co. for its English employees, who immigrated to work in the mill.

In addition to the school, the village also consisted of a mansion for the "Ironmaster," the company’s resident agent; 15 homes for workers, a Methodist-Episcopal Church, a Catholic chapel, a bank, and a company store.

As of 2013, only one of the workers’ homes and the Methodist Church survive. The English men who came to work in the Iron Works were mostly Methodists and until the church was dedicated in 1863, they met at the Ironworks schoolhouse to read John Wesley’s sermons.

A history of the church, written in the 1930s, states: "These English men and women were wonderful singers and the Old Methodist revival hymns were sung. There were many to oppose these noisy Shouting Methodists so full of the spirit. Finally the school committee closed the doors. Though the times looked dark, yet it turned out for the best as seven of the English brothers…agreed to make an effort to build a church. In April 1861 they met to form a Board and elected officers to begin the work at once."


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