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Historical society plans tour of school, church, cemetery

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:12 p.m. CDT

MARENGO – 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.

Both sites, the 1867 limestone Pringle one-room schoolhouse and the pre-Civil War Stewart’s Scottish Cemetery, are close to each other near River Road and Route 23.

During the 1840s, the land north of Marengo was settled by pioneering families from Scotland. Many 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. 

The church, located at 203 W. Washington St., will be open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. led by church historian Fran Wright.

The historical society has owned Pringle School since 2002 and volunteers have undertaken its restoration and interpretation since then. Those coming to the open house should park on the lawn in front of the school and not on River Road.

Those who visit the Scottish Cemetery, on the Ted Wilson farm at 20916 River Road just east of Route 23, should 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 was passed to their heirs, as well as John Wilson, Patterson and George Pringle, James Smith and others.

Also, the historical society will be selling garden plants at deep discounts during its regular Sunday visiting hours from 1 to 4 p.m. at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union.

For information about any of these events, call 815-923-2267 or visit www.gothistory.org.

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