Lemoyne School was built in 1926 and between its opening and when it closed in 2007, thousands of students passed through its doors.
Dan Wilson attended Lemoyne School from first through eighth grade. He and his wife, Jane, had three sons attend Lemoyne from kindergarten through fourth grade.
The school closed following the 2006-07 school year due to declining enrollment in the Eastwood school district. It was sold last winter to Bill Lafferty for $55,000. Lafferty in turn sold it to Dan and Jane Wilson in mid-August.
“We just didn’t want anything to happen to that school, to be torn down or anything,” Jane said.
Jane and Dan, who own and operate Stony Ridge Auction, decided to turn the three-story red brick building, which sits on two acres, into their new Stony Ridge Auction House.
The couple had to make extensive repairs and renovations, but they didn’t mind.
“We were kind of excited when we had the opportunity to buy it,” Jane said. “We’re historians by nature and we love antiques. That building fits right up our alley. We wanted a permanent venue for our business, which specializes in antiques.”
The Wilsons made their first sale out of the former Lemoyne School on Sept. 21. Their previous building, which they leased, was on SR 163. They left that location three years ago and had been operating out of different venues in Toledo and Moline.
The Wilsons hold auctions in the school’s gymnasium, which has a big stage and seating area.
“When we bought it, it had been neglected for a year or so,” Jane said. “There had been a moisture problem in the school for many years, so we hired some drainage people to come in and they fixed the problem. It’s got Pella windows - great windows, which were put in there in the last few years.”
The Wilsons have been cleaning, painting and plastering the interior of the school, located at 4230 Fremont Pike (U.S. 20) in Lemoyne, seven miles east of Perrysburg and less than 10 miles south of Oregon.
“We did most of the work ourselves,” Jane said. “We have about $20,000 in renovations, but we enjoyed every second of it. We love the building. Everyone who comes in there, their jaws drop. They love the building. It has a nice-sized cafeteria and kitchen and we’ve made one room on the third floor a media room, to show movies.”
The Wilsons also have converted a classroom, restored to its original state, school desks and all, to accommodate overnight guests.
“We’re very big on originality and nostalgia with the school,” Jane said. “At the end of the hall we have a big wall showcase with pictures on the walls where things have happened at the school. Lots of people in the community have brought us things or have promised to bring us things from the school.
“Everybody in the community is thrilled to know that we’ve taken over the building, and we’re going to take good care of it,” she said.
Stony Ridge Auction Gallery is recognized by trade journals and periodicals as one of the largest personal property and estate liquidators in Northwest Ohio. The Wilsons have been in the estate auction business since 1995 and have been selling antiques since 1968. They have auctioned off estates in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and Iowa.
“We got those estates because they all had connections to Northwest Ohio, and they all appreciate what we do,” Jane said.
Stony Ridge Auction Gallery features a wide array of antiques and collectibles such as Victorian artglass, estate jewelry, antique dolls, art pottery, lighting, furniture and vintage automobiles.
“This is a slow period for us right now,” Jane said of the antique business. “By springtime we’ll be all booked up again with people wanting to sell their things.”
For more information on estate liquidation services call Jane and Dan Wilson at 419-344-7359. To learn more about Stony Ridge Auction Gallery, visit www.stonyridgeauction.com.