Susy Baum has dedicated 27 years to protecting the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse in Paoli, but she fears that future generations won’t recognize the same value.
“My biggest concern is that people won’t be interested in continuing the school,” she said.
Susanna “Susy” Baum has been the president of the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse Preservation Association since 2000 and a volunteer since 1985. Over the years, she’s contributed many hours to hosting Sunday open houses, tackling administrative tasks and sprucing up the grounds so they remain in tiptop shape.
Born in Ohio, Baum lived a somewhat migratory life before settling in Berwyn 30 years ago. After World War II, her family relocated to California where she spent her early childhood, returning to the east coast when Baum was 14. She later met her husband in New Jersey, assumed the role of a stay-at-home mom and wife of a paper businessman, and moved to states including Ohio, Georgia, Indiana and Michigan.
Once she landed in Berwyn, Baum became actively involved in St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley as a volunteer flower arranger. She designed bouquets out of her Berwyn home with a friend, and her home’s close proximity to the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse sparked her interest in undertaking the additional project.
“I really like to meet the people who come here. I enjoy having the house open and I love the history of the valley,” she said.
“It’s meaningful to help preserve a place that’s in my neighborhood.”
Baum is one of three officers in the association, and there are six members on the board of trustees. She said that her biggest challenge is recruiting people who would enjoy spending time to keep the house preserved and available.As a local history buff, Baum’s favorite historical spots are likewise in the area. She enjoys spending time at St. Peter’s which she described as “both old and new” with its nineteenth century architecture and more recently constructed 2004 worship space. She also enjoys nearby Valley Forge National Historic Park.