Unusual House of the Day: Old Phoenixville Schoolhouse With Belfry and Bell

It’s not every day one gets the opportunity to invoke The Sound of Music in the world of home sales. But Phoenixville’s Old Pickering Schoolhouse, built in 1840, has just been put on the market, and its combination of residential and schoolhouse elements is a perfect fit for a governess arriving to wrangle a posse of unruly children–with the aid of a bell in a belfry and rows of books in amazing built-in bookshelves that go up to the ceiling.

Should potential buyers want more dour literary inspiration, think Jane Eyre. The stone wall around the property should provide enough seclusion for a sad governess who paces around gardens, past brooks and ponds, and sits beneath trees. It can’t get too sad, though, because the 2.5 acres here look defiantly lovely.

On another note, there’s a five-car garage and an in-law suite that could work for a tenant, even a demented wife who’s locked away in secret. There is, after all, a precedent for tragedy, according to the Schuylkill Township’s website:

In 1954 a horrid tragedy, with reverberations that lasted for many years, occurred on the grounds of the abandoned schoolhouse. About one hundred feet north of the schoolhouse there was a wooden privy, half in ruins, used by the children before 1929. A young girl from Phoenixville was murdered in March 1954, dragged to this outhouse, where her body was found a day or so later. Neither the cause of the murder nor the identity of the murderer were thereafter found.

Eerie. It was a long time ago, however. Today, it’s perfectly lovely.

• 135 Valley Park Rd, Phoenixville, PA [RE/MAX Sunvest Realty-Kirkwood Hwy]