The Camp Dennison School was built in 1864 after the conclusion of the Civil War and was occupied from 1870 – 1952 as part of the Hamilton County School District. It was one of the first 2 room, 2 story brick schools built in the Midwest. It was designed in a cross construction pattern with gables containing Italianate style bracketing on the corners. In 1939 the school was remodeled by the WPA adding steam heating, indoor bathrooms, water fountains and enlarging the windows to let in more light. On the first floor were the classrooms. Grades 1-4 were in the current kitchen and grades 5-8 are in the current dining room. The second story contained the Principal’s office, used as our bar for special events, and the Auditorium / theater stage / gymnasium, now available for special events. The last class graduated from The Camp Dennison School in 1952 and the students were relocated to the new Drake School in the Indian Hill School District.
At this point, Dravo gravel company bought the school. Their plan was to demolish the school for additional gravel mining. The State of Ohio declined this plan due to the proximity to St Rt 126, then the school became office space for Dravo Gravel Company until 1961. The Camp Dennison School was then purchased by Donald & Phyllis Miller which saved the school from being demolished.
The young energetic couple were looking for a project. Dr. Miller was a family physician and gentleman farmer and Phyllis, an architect, were both proud graduates of The Ohio State University where they met and married after WWII. Don’s plans for a nursing home in the country did not pan out so Phyllis came up with an idea for a restaurant. Their inspiration came from the family’s own kitchen table, and the memories of dinner tables from both of their upbringings, Donald in Terrace Park and Phyllis in Pennsylvania. Our dinner table in Madeira was a large, round, wooden table with a lazy susan in the middle where dinner was served every night at 5 o’clock. It was a special place where the busy family members could get together, talk, and catch up on the events of the day while enjoying Mom’s delicious, homemade dinner.
The Miller family; Chris, Jeff, Pam and Beth now proudly own and operate The Schoolhouse Restaurant and General Store. The Camp Dennison School turns 155 years old this year. We Thank You for supporting our parents vision, our families and our old schoolhouse for the past 55 years. Our hope is that families and friends can get together and enjoy each other’s company without the outside world’s interference, enjoying a moment in history when things were simpler. Take a walk around the property, visit The General Store, hang out with the goats & geese, grab a bench and enjoy the view.