Columbia, IL, has preserved the community’s heritage of one-room schools with three renovation projects restoring old schools for new uses, including the Sand Bank School. The first English-speaking school in Monroe County opened in an old log cabin off Old Bluff Rd. in 1783. In 1817, the first Sand Bank School was constructed by the son of Revolutionary War veteran James Piggot. The current one-room school was built in 1855 and decommissioned around 1952, after which it was purchased by a local family and used as their residence until 1999. In 2009, Dennis Patton and Terry Schramm purchased the white frame structure, which was by then in a state of extreme deterioration. Deploying volunteer help, their own savings, and a generous donation from local benefactor Charles Todd, the two men were able to restore the old school to its former glory. Today, Sand Bank School is available for small parties, wedding receptions, and other events.