Sleighton School originally opened in 1910, relieving the House of Refuge. This was designed as a community and school for troubled girls, to help change their lives around. Most the land was donated to make this school possible. This was also a farm school so many girls did farm related things and got an education there. I'm not quite sure how anything changed from then on to the closing, but I know it became co-ed in 1985. The school eventually closed in 2001, due to financial reasons. I believe Elwyn managed the school beginning somewhere in the 90's. I know the school is up for sale now for $14 million, but I'm not sure what the plans are for it yet if there even are any.
Now here I go with the reason I created this blog. I want people to know about what I call a historic landmark. For people like me who love historic buildings and nature, you really need to go here. There really is no law enforcement or security that I know of, so anybody can come here anytime pretty much. Just I recommend you stay out of buildings and all that because they are dangerous. Remember too that vandalism is a crime. This is great for people of all ages too, just as long as you don't attend to vandalize. And I believe that if more adults with good intentions go, the vandalism will stay away.
Let me talk about the condition of these buildings. Right now, the school is in restorable condition. Most of these buildings look great from the outside at least. These were made to last. Many of these are stone buildings, and whoever built these did an amazing job. The problem is, more and more kids are going and not all, but most of them are destroying these buildings. There are also copper strippers who are doing there share of the damage. Then of course you got mother nature, doing her share. Vines damage the exteriors and humidity/temperature changes damage the interiors. There is also some water damage. That's why I wish they did a better job keeping this place up.
Now what happens to the place now? To be honest, I hope something happens soon before these buildings fall beyond repair. My biggest fear though, and something likely, is that some developer will buy this, cut down all the trees, level the buildings, and build houses. I'm doing everything i could to help eliminate that possibility, which this blog is one of them, awareness. Maybe someone will see this blog and decide to buy this place and restore it. If anybody wants to help save this place or have any ideas on how, I would be happy to hear. Time is running out for Sleighton. Remember that once these buildings are gone, they're gone forever. You can't bring architects back from the dead.
My dream for this place is to first of all, have the property cleaned up and have every building restored, to look the way they used to. Then I would like to see it become a school again, or even just a community for troubled youths, or for everybody. Restoring these wouldn't be a ridiculous price either. Between the potential volunteers, land grants, and donations, the cost wouldn't be as steep as some may think. Remember too the structure of these buildings are in great shape. My biggest dream is just for this to be saved, these buildings are too beautiful to be destroyed.
Now like I said, I'm really into to this stuff so if somebody has stories or anything, share. And if you want to help spread awareness, share my blog. There is also a wonderful facebook page called Sleighton Farms Views , dedicated to the same thing as this. And also, if you want to help save it too, go do what you want to do or contact me about it. If you want to email me, it's email@example.com.
You have to check this out yourself to get the full experience, but here's some pictures courtesy of Sleighton Farms Views. There are many more and they're still coming. Also, check out Chuck Van Horn's facebook for historic images.
Check out my newest post on the development plan: http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2013/05/beginning-of-end-for-sleighton-5413.html
Chuck Van Horn's facebook for about 100 more!
There's a new follow up post here: http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2012/08/sleighton-farm-school-follow-up.html for anyone interested.
11/5/12 Check out my new post for more pics and info: http://unknowhistoricsites.blogspot.com/2012/11/sleighton-update-11512_5.html