Earlier this Summer, I moved into the basement of a building that was once a schoolhouse. Although this building has been rennovated and moved from its original location, tell-tale signs of its history remain. A belltower balances precariously on the roof; chalkboards and cubbyholes line the walls of the main floor. Curious about the origins of the repurposed schoolhouse, I am currently perusing sources in the Richardson Collection in the hopes of finding documentation or a photograph that identitfies the name and original location of my schoolhouse. While I have not completed my search yet, I have found some interesting images. It is important to note that Phillip L. Brown took the the majority of the photographs below for the Country School House Legacy project. Funded by a National Endowment of the Humanities grant and sponsored by the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA), the Country School Legacy project sought to secure and preserve the historical significance of rural schools in eight states: Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. From 1980-1981, each state involved with the project put together a team to research, explore, and document country school houses. The end result was a series serminars, a traveling exhibit, research materials and archival collections. The Country School Legacy materials housed in the USD Archives and Special Collections include emphemra, oral histories, photographs, and maps as well as historic site guides.
-Information from the Country School Legacy Papers, Richardson Collection, photographs: the Country School Legacy Papers and Clay County, South Dakota Schools papers, Richardson Collection