Saturday, October 25, 2014

Living in a Schoolhouse


Probably about 40 years ago, it wouldn't have cost much to purchase an old schoolhouse. Some people remodel them so that they're nearly unrecognizable as a schoolhouse. Others don't.  I think many of them had windows mostly along one side, with the north (cold) side being windowless.

Mr. Cranberry disagrees with me on this. He thinks the windows were usually on the north or east side so that there wouldn't be light glare on students' texts or papers. On the other hand, I would have thought they would be on the south side of the building to help heat up the room in the wintertime.

So if anyone out there remembers the old country schoolhouse, do you want to weigh in with your guess or opinion about where the windows were located? Feel free, especially if you agree with me. ;-)


I took this photo from a distance last week. I love the reddish orange steel roof on the old red brick schoolhouse.



Of course, if I were to buy an old schoolhouse to live in, I wouldn't want to remodel it much, except maybe to put in a loft because the ceilings are so high you'd have room to do that. And just think of all the blackboards I would have! Oh, that's right. I do have lots of blackboards. Mr. Cranberry does asbestos removal before demolition, and he's brought home many black slate boards over the years. I can't bear to see them thrown out. That's why we're taking another bunch of them to Cashton for the Amish schools next spring.

Oh look! There's a blackboard in my kitchen!



Have you ever wanted to live in an old schoolhouse? I do realize it's possible that I'm the only person in blogland who has always dreamed about doing that. That's okay. I have a library table, chalkboards, and lots of vintage books. I guess that's good enough. Besides, I'm getting too lazy to move.

Below are a couple pics of the old country school I attended in grades 1-2. It looked better back then. :-)  It was torn down just last week. Glad I took these photos last year.


 Woodside School, Barron County, WI


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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Every Room in the House Friday Noon and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters

47 comments:

Dicky Bird said...

our friends down the road...courntry road...had an old school house moved to their parent's dairy farm, they remodeled it and it is adorable!!!

They live in it. I should take a pic sometime. Thanks for nice post

Pamela Gordon said...

These are beautiful old schoolhouses! The early ones up here were mostly made of wood clapboards. There is one down the road from us that has 2 classrooms and my husband and his sisters attended it. The rooms have windows on both sides and one end. In the day there was 2 outhouses - one for boys and one for girls. The school is now a sort of museum and our local Historical Society has taken it over. The added a small kitchen and indoor facilities but the old walls and blackboards are still there. Some of the older schools were made into homes, community centres or moved to farms for barn use. I'm glad our local one is being preserved. I love your blackboard and your library table. That's pretty close to living in a school house I think. :)

ImSoVintage Laura Walker said...

I would love to live in an old school house. I love that people buy them and convert them into homes. I was saddened to see my old brick school was torn down. It would have made wonderful apartments or condos. Now there is apparently just an empty lot. xo Laura

Sandra said...

I want to live in a church..I love the show on HGTV You live in WHAT? i have seen many churches, one school and all kinds of things.. this is a beautiful old school... you could always knock on the door and ask where the windows use to be...

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

I went to school in two different old school houses. Even though I hated attending school, I loved the feel of those old buildings. I would, indeed like to live in one!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The one room schoolhouse that our Historical Society meets in and maintains is facing east with the windows on the north and south sides. It has been renovated to original design as it is a protected heritage building.
Another old school house not far from us that people are living in faces west with north and south windows again. I'd love to see inside it.

Linda Kay said...

Judy, fun post and lovely old school houses. I think the windows should be on the west side in Texas to warm up the place, as it really gets hot on that side. In Morton, IL, there is a church converted to a house, and I hear it is spectacular inside. Wish I would have gone into it.

NanaDiana said...

I just love those old schoolhouses. I have never seen one, I guess that did not have windows on most sides. The ones I see around here are windowed on the South side.

Our friends remodeled one and lived in it for several years. It was wonderful.

I have always thought it would be fun rehab. xo Diana

Karen S. said...

I could too, in fact some folks not far from me have made their home out of an old church, also a very nice idea. I like your black board, it's something I'd also enjoy having, not that I really have the space for in my kitchen, but gee whiz lovely and handy too! Would have been so perfect when my children were growing up...of course the grandchildren would love it now! Thanks for sharing all the lovely old schoolhouses.

TexWisGirl said...

can't say i've ever thought of living in one. :)

Arlene Grimm said...

I love old schools...not sure I would want to live in one however. There would be a good deal of remodeling to do. My old elementary school is now being used as a community center. Oh the sweet memories that must fill that building!!

Trace4J said...

I agree with you..
Even though I don't have a clue..hehe
I would love to live in a old barn or school house.
Love the old tin roofs.
Have a great weekend.
Woolie Hugs

Tori Leslie said...

Those are amazing photos. Would love to live in a schoolhouse. Btw, you have a lovely blog!

Felicia said...

never really thought about living in an old schoolhouse but I think it would be ok. love your images. not sure about the windows.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

And so what side where all those windows in your old school? In Brittany, in old houses, most windows are on the SOuth side and nearly no windows on the west side (where most wind and rain come from). I'm a teacher, I'd love to renovate an old school!

EG CameraGirl said...

I used to think living in an old schoolhouse would be fun but now I think an old schoolhouse would probably be expensive to heat as the heat would rise to the ceiling. I don't know though as there are several converted schoolhouses in my area. Too bad I don't know the owners!

How sad your old school was torn down.Hmmm. I haven't been back to the town where I grew up for a while so maybe mine are gone too.

Simply Linda said...

I have always wanted to live in a school house and a barn! I think that is why we I prefer old houses and currently live and will be renting/moving to another old house, so much charm...although, I do miss having a beautiful kitchen..I love your pictures and your blackboard! Blessings

Lorrie said...

Old schoolhouses have a lot of charm. I've seen them with windows on both sides. Having the wherewithal to renovate one into a dwelling would be so great. There's a little old schoolhouse not too far from us that has been converted into a cupcake store catering to kids. There are chalkboards and play tables and it's lovely.
Can I be a wee bit envious of your kitchen library table and chalkboard?

Mrs. Pepper said...

There are still quite a few one room school houses in our area. The windows are on the sides which happen to be on the east and west sides. The desks always faced north, helps with geography and directions. Don't know if that's how all old school houses were, but found it to be a fascinating fact about the ones in our area.

Last year one of them was remodeled and converted to a house. They had an abundance of flower beds this summer. So pretty. I must say I would love to see how the inside looks now.

Really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing!

Jessy Gaffen said...

Wonderful photos! I can't say as I have ever thought about living in a schoolhouse before...but I can think of a couple that would be really cool! They look like big houses anyway, but the nostalgia would be awesome! Maybe one with a bell? LOL

Donna said...

I love old schoolhouse buildings, particularly if they are small. The ones in Pennsylvania Amish country are so charming. I wouldn't mind owning one as a second home.

Judy S. said...

Wonder how you get rid of the chalkdust and sweaty socks odors? Interesting post!

Lynne said...

And in the school house you went to, were the windows, both sides, one side, what direction.

I can't say I have ever had a passion to live in a school house although I an old fire station sounds like a charming place. All that brass . . . copper . . . the fire pole.

I would like a library table like yours though. Where did you find that gem?

Kim said...

We have an old red school house in our town that was turned into a residence. It's adorable. Oh, and I just bought a chalk hoard for my kitchen at an auction. I love them too

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

One of the very first blogs I followed was, "Pleasant View Schoolhouse" where the family converted an old schoolhouse to live in. I've followed them for years as the children have grown. Here's the link: http://pleasantviewschoolhouse.blogspot.com

Debby said...

Ohbthat has always been a dream of mine. I did have a friend that lived in one. Loved it.
So many that you see are so close to busy roads. We have a couple close by that are homes but right on busy highways. No idea on the windows.

Denise said...

Lovely.

Cheryl said...

Living in an old schoolhouse sounds like a great idea to me! In fact, I was going to mention the Pleasant View Schoolhouse blog, but I see another reader beat me to it. :)

Love your blackboard. I am glad that you feel compelled to save them.

Carol Z said...

Love your school house pictures. A blackboard would be great in my kitchen.

Ruth Kelly said...

I went to an old country school house in grade school and most of the windows were on the east side. There were a few on the west side to let in brightness. I think it was built before electricity.

Ginny said...

It is so great that you now have these pictures to remember it by. I think it is so sad to see old schoolhouses torn down. Wow, I never thought of living in one!! I would have the coat room as a wonderful hall for all coats and jackets, and boots.That would be the best part to me. And many were made really well, too. Phil went to a one room schoolhouse!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Enjoyed all the photos. Would love to live in a school. I don't have a clue about the windows. Love the color in the trees.

Carla from The River said...

I would love to tour what folks have done to them to make them homes.
My old school was made into apartments. I got to visit it this past summer. They did a great job on keeping it as the school and making the rooms into apartments. They gym was on the lower level, they made it into a garage for the tenants.

Carla from The River said...

The gym...goof on my typing :-)

The gym was made into a garage for the tenants. It really turned out nice. I was pleasantly surprised.
Because of how well they kept the original architecture of the school, it is listed as a Wisconsin Historical Building.

Michelle said...

I would love to live in an old schoolhouse. Such history! We still have a few in existence in my county. I once worked with a lady who had taught in a one room schoolhouse. She said education was much more meaningful back then.

Michelle F said...

I did a search on windows in a one room schoolhouse. The closest I could find in answering the question was from a site called `Inside The One-Room Schoolhouse` the url is: http://www.aitc.sk.ca/saskschools/school2.html

hope this helps :)

Terri D said...

I have no comment on window placement, but I am sad that your old schoolhouse was torn down. I never really thought about living in an old school house, but I can see that it would be fun to remodel and make it a showplace...much better than having it torn down.

Debra Howard said...

I love old schoolhouses. No idea why they do the windows the way they do but maybe it depends on where the school is located. In the south maybe it is your husbands way and your way in the north. It can't hurt to let him think that anyway ;)

Cattails said...

I do love old schoolhouses and churches that folks turn into homes. So glad you got photos of the school you attended. Your kitchen is so pretty!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It would be amazing to have one to fix up. We saw an abandoned school house this weekend. Most of them are community centers and meeting places. I hope they are all put to good use. Hugs, Diane

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

My grandparents had an old schoolhouse in Clarion PA that was used as a 'camp' or weekend getaway until I was about 7 or 8 and a highway was coming through to ruin it all.

Up where the teacher would have stood, was a row of beds and old dressers with curtains separating each 'room'. The outhouse was in the back. WAY back, it seemed, if you had to go once it was dark out!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

There is an old schoolhouse for sale in our area. Built 1927, all brick. Someone at one time did something to the roof line, but I am sure it could be fixed. I think it has windows on all sides, but I hadn't noticed. Maybe they didn't put them on one wall so the teacher could stand at that end and the students wouldn't have to squint?

Nancy said...

As a retired teacher, I have fond memories of the black chalkboards. Some days, I would come home with chalk dust caked on the sides of my thighs, and I had no idea it was there. ;o)

J_on_tour said...

Nice shot of the schoolhouse among the trees. The autumn trees are wonderful too.
I'm loosely associated to a local walking group and one of the walk leaders who now lives out in the country with his wife purchased and did up a small two classroom school building. He once arranged a walk from their house and we had lunch in the garden later during the afternoon before a comprehensive house tour. The cloakroom was converted into a kitchen with another part of the house being converted into a library.They kept the original well ordered tile mosaic on the floor.

A Joyful Cottage said...

At first glance I thought your home is an old schoolhouse, then reading further I realized it's not. I'd like to see more of your farmhouse kitchen. Thanks for sharing at Every Room In The House. You'll be featured at the new party tomorrow. Nancy

Jenny said...

I grew up in a one room schoolhouse. I didn't think anything about it as a child because that was just my house! My parents bought it in 1966/67 (not sure which) when I was a baby. My mother sold it in 2000 when she had to downsize. It had been converted to a home before they bought it - five bedrooms added to the east & north sides. My parents opened up the attic for another bedroom. I was so excited to move into the attic!

It had long tall windows all along the west side & I assume along the east side before the rooms were added on. The front porch faced south (that's where the road was!) & there was a closet there as well that was original. My mom converted the little coat closet to her sewing room. It was her haven with a little window facing west.

When we moved in there was no indoor plumbing. there was electricity & it was heated with a wood/coal stove & a wood cook stove. My mom baked all of our bread in the wood stove & cooked all our meals on it. There was a well that my siblings had to draw water from - being the baby I got out of that chore. My mom did laundry in the kitchen in winter & outside in summer on a ringer washer.

My parents added indoor plumbing, converting the two bedrooms on the north side to a bathroom & a little kitchen. I can remember using the outhouse & taking baths in the metal washtub by the stove before we had indoor plumbing. We always heated with wood & coal though. I grew up stacking wood, carrying coal & cleaning out the stoves. I left home in 1984 & in the mid 1990's my mother was able to add ac & heat through a grant for poor seniors in the area (my family was very poor growing up in southern WV with very few jobs)

It wasn't really a glamorous life. My parents bought the schoolhouse because they could afford it, not to save it. We always called it the schoolhouse though. It was a good country life, growing huge gardens every summer, picking wild foods & my mom always in the kitchen preserving what we had or in her sewing room making our clothes.

I went back to see it once in 2006 & the new owners had made so many changes it looks nothing like a schoolhouse anymore. It's much nicer than what we had (no floor coverings for the most part, no ceilings in the attic, ect)

I love what you've done to your schoolhouse. It's really fun to be able to live & use such a beautiful building.

I found your blog through your link on A Joyful Cottage.

Country Wife said...

Never thought of living in a school house, interesting idea though.

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