Housed in a one-room schoolhouse built by Col. Ellet in the 1880s, the collection includes the written and pictorial history of the Latham area, cemetery records, and artifacts from the school itself.
The Ellet school was built in 1880 and named the Centerville School. Ellet was the name everyone knew it by, possibly because the school house was located near Colonel Bill Ellet’s land and his hand in forming District 7. W.H. Ellet served on the board as director from 1880 to 1895.
When the school was first built the chimney was in the center, later it was moved because the teacher could not see the children behind the stove. In 1931, the Ante room was built onto the building.
Nell Hawley was Centerville’s first teacher, teaching during 1881, 1882 for 4 months and in 1883 for 8 months. Her salary was $40 a month.
During the 1914 school year discipline problems caused Myrthe Mohler to resign after teaching 16 weeks. Due to declining enrollment the Centerville school closed in 1942.
The one-room school house was a very important part of the community it served, not only as a school, but also as a gathering place for programs, suppers, and Sunday services.
Orginally the school was located 8 miles west of Latham. In 1980, the Latham Lions Club moved it into town.