EDMOND — History was not a subject that held much interest for Beverly Terry when she was in school. Nor was it during her 40-year career with Southwestern Bell and AT&T.
Then she retired and started looking around for something to occupy her time. She agreed to become the treasurer for the Edmond Historic Preservation Trust.
The group began raising money in 2000 to buy and restore the building believed to be the first schoolhouse built in Oklahoma Territory after the Land Run of 1889.
Since 1900, the building at 124 E Second St. had been used as a private residence and later as Sanders Camera Shop. Research was underway to prove the structure was, indeed, the original school, and soon Terry was hooked on history.
One of her first ventures into preservation was sending samples of wood from the building to a specialist in New York who was able to determine the original colors used.
After 12 years serving the trust, she is retiring. To mark her service to the trust, and especially the 1889 Territorial School, the Edmond City Council recently honored her with a proclamation citing her years as “Trust treasurer, caretaker of the schoolhouse, an advocate for identifying Edmond's historic sites and her tireless efforts to help document their place in Edmond's history.”
The trust will honor her with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the schoolhouse. The public is invited.
The school is open the first two Saturdays of the month from March through December and can be viewed by groups at other times by calling 715-1889.
During her years of service, Terry has written numerous grants to raise money for the school. She also wrote the nomination that placed Stephenson Park on the Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory; secured a number of local, state and national awards; pushed for the creation of an award-winning website and a docent program; and developed a program for Girl Scouts to earn a Community Service patch, which she also designed.
She also arranged for projects at the school for Boy Scouts looking for an Eagle Scout project.
A highlight for Terry was nominating the school for the National Schoolhouse Registry, maintained by the Country School Association of America. It was the 22nd school accepted. In June, she will be a presenter at that group's annual meeting in Atlanta. Her topic will be “Christmas at the Schoolhouse.”