The McHenry County Historical Society and members of the Wilson/Weyland Family of Marengo will host a free open house between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.
Both sites, the 1867 limestone Pringle one-room schoolhouse and the pre-Civil War Stewart's Scottish Cemetery, are within a stone's throw of each other near River Road and Route 23.
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During the 1840s, the land north of Marengo was settled by a number of pioneering families from Scotland. Many of these settlers came by way of Canada, traveled to Jo Daviess County to work in the lead mines, then reversed course back east to the Marengo area. They established farms along the southern edge of the hardwood forests north of the Kishwaukee River and in time founded the First Presbyterian Church of Marengo. In January 1999, the historical society put a plaque on the church for its centennial.
The historical society has owned Pringle School since 2002 and volunteers have undertaken its restoration and interpretation since then. This year a selection of artifacts, unearthed on the school site between 2004-06 by Midwest Archaeological Research Services, will be on display. They include a baseball bat, school supplies, a marble, coat hook and a beer bottle. Schools not only were a place students learned, they were an epicenter of community life.
Those coming to the open house should park on the lawn in front of the school or on the side street -- not on River Road.
If you visit the Scottish Cemetery, on the Ted Wilson farm at 20916 River Road just east of Route 23, wear comfortable walking shoes. A short hike from the parking area up a wooded path is required. The Wilson/Weyland families will have information about those buried there. The land was bought by Alexander and Jane Stewart, who then deeded the land as a cemetery. It subsequently passed to their heirs, as well as John Wilson, Patterson and George Pringle, James Smith and others.
The museum, 6422 Main St., Union, also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. that Sunday. For more information call (815) 923-2267 or visit gothistory.org.