File this under “things you probably didn’t know”: The Avon Lake American Legion Post 211 was once home to one of the area’s first schools. Avon School District 9, to be exact.
That history lesson has not gone unmarked. For years a 300 pound stone with the words “Avon Dist. No. 9” and the year “1879” below it.
The rock, however, was not getting very historic treatment and for years had been leaning against a light pole.
“It was laying in the mud for years,” Dave Thum, Boy Scout Troop 338 leader said.
That all changed when Thum's son, Nick Thum, took on the project to have the stone properly displayed on the lawn of the south side of the Post. The project was one of the requirements for Nick, a senior at Avon Lake High School, to become an Eagle Scout.
“The stone was hanging above the school back when the Legion was a schoolhouse,” Nick said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize the hall was once a schoolhouse. It’s part of Avon Lake History and it was just sitting against a light pole.”
The Legion sponsors Nick’s troop and approached his father about Nick undertaking the renovation as his Eagle Scout project.
“I talked with (Post) Commander Sherwin,” Nick said.
With the help of Legionnaire Jim McCoy, Nick began plans to construct a frame to support the 300 pound stone.
“We had to pour cement to support the frame,” Nick said. “Then we added plants around it.”
Plans started in May and with help of other troop members, the project was dedicated last week after more than 140 hours of manpower.
The project had its challenges.
“Digging was tough,” Nick said. “It was definitely hard to make sure ground was even and level. There were a lot of roots in the way.”
The Board of Review for Boy Scouts of America is now reviewing the project before Nick earns his Eagle Scout award.
For Nick, the project went beyond earning the top award in the Scouting organization.
“I was happy to help the Legion,” he said. “They’ve done so much to support our troop.”