The rebirth of a country school

Month: June 2014

$5, $2, gimme $3. Done.

What a great weekend!  The sale went off without a hitch.  With the threat of storms each day, we kept an eye on the sky as we set things out for the sale.  Kevin was laid up with the flu Friday so I forged ahead with the prep.  Many, many thanks to Russ and Shane for the loan of tables and sawhorses.

Sale Day Saturday came with blue skies and a wonderful opportunity to meet the people in the community.  What did we hear the most?
“I’ve been past here for some many years and have never gotten to see the inside the school.  This is great!”

The best part – getting to know so many wonderful people.  I can’t tell you how many people described themselves as ‘neighbors’.  We feel so welcome here.





At the end of it all, Boo was exhausted from all the greeting she had to do and slept all the way home.


To end the day, the weather held out until we got all the leftovers packed up and shut up tight.  In the hour after the sale closed, we got 1 1/2″ of rain in an hour at the school.  Thanks to God it waited until then….otherwise, this might have been a very different story.

Can’t wait to see our new neighbors again!

Sale Tomorrow!

Rain notwithstanding, we will hold a sale tomorrow to share our finds with the community.  Lots of great treasures, come out to shop or just say hi!  Cushing, Wisconsin, look for signs north of town on the highway!

A visit from the family

This weekend we had a great event – Sandra, the previous owner and the daughter and granddaughter of the original owners came to visit.  She brought her family with her and we had a great time.

As soon as they walked into the school, they were reminded (by smell!) of the time Grandpa stored oats in the school.  We sorted through old documents and pictures, and took a grand tour through the woods.  Sandra had so many great memories of the trails and plants and bushes that are there.  I was amazed to learn of blackberries and apple trees that just need uncovering, and determined to return some of those like plum, chokecherries and raspberries that have gone wild.  A few others we found I think I’ll try to avoid for awhile….0614141520

She led me to a very special spot where long ago a heart was carved into a tree trunk by her sweetheart.  She urged us to add our initials to it as part of the ‘new’ history of the school.  Sandra is a vital part of the history of our school in the past, and I hope she continues to be a part of it long into our future!



Oh the things we find

$200 a Night

No, we’re not renting the schoolhouse out to the highest bidder (although if you really wanted, I suppose we could make the arrangements….).  With each trip north, we make a couple of ‘stops’:  Menard’s, Home Depot, Cub Foods, Sam’s Club, the list goes on.  On sitting down with the books this week, we figure the opportunity for us to come to this fine place and work for the weekend is costing us about $200 a day.  But money well spent.

ToiletThis week’s post was almost “We’ve Got Toilet!”, because that was a big accomplishment this weekend.  There was a toilet there, but it was, ah, time to go (pun not intended, of course).  New push button model is a fabulous upgrade.   Took some great pictures of more ‘finds’ – I’ll be creating a Gallery for them soon, check back.  But have to share this one now. bullet two

It’s a picture of a bullet hole that came through the window some point in the past, through the middle wall, through some hanging clothes, and through the drywall in the back wall.

bullet oneLooking for the bullet when that wall comes down.

MailboxOutside, Kevin put up the mailbox.  Can’t wait to go home and mail ourselves a letter!  Last discovery of the weekend was that the reason the corn field across the road isn’t growing like all the other corn fields is because it’s a bean field.  We think. City folk.beans

Our first impressions, pics from the beginning.

Here are a few pics from our first look at the schoolhouse. The kitchen was full of great furniture from the 50’s and 60’s, some earlier some later, and tons of dishes.  Even the pantry was still stocked…. Kitchen

Some of the walls still have the original chalk boards and eraser holders…


and a solid washing system, if you don’t mind doing it outside.

Washer and dryer

Up above the dropped ceiling, we found the original tin tiles.  Can’t wait to get the faux ceiling out of there and see it all.

Tin ceilings

Raccoons – 2, Schoolmasters – 3

One of the first items on the to-do list was to fix the chimney and roof.  After a hundred years of wear and tear, it had started to crumble.  And by crumble, I mean the top quarter had fallen down in a wind storm and right through the roof.  Even before we closed, Kevin got up there and did a light patch with some rolled roofing to keep out the worst of the rain.

But this hole had made an excellent front door for the raccoons, which they didn’t seem to want to give up.  They ate right through it.  So our next move was to leave the radio blasting all night in hopes of relocating them.

Memorial Day weekend Kevin started at the top removing the chimney down to the roofline, while I caught bricks from the ground and stacked them for ‘later use’.  Many of the bricks were so loose all he had to do was pick them off the top – no hammer or prying required.

Chimney coming off

Once we got it level with the roof, he worked for a couple hours tearing out old rotted wood and shingles, patching with heavy plywood, tar paper and roofing.  Great work, right?

Roof One

Here’s what we found the next weekend.  They tenaciously tried to get back in.  Another round with tar paper, roofing AND wire mesh

Roof Mesh

– I’ll let you know next week how this goes….

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