The rebirth of a country school

Month: June 2015

Schoolhouse Rules


What I learned from forgetting to bring my keys to the schoolhouse

1. Don’t forget to bring your keys to the schoolhouse.

2. If you forget your keys, you must make yourself useful until someone brings you keys or it gets dark, whichever comes first.

3. There is a limit to how many sticks one can pick up before it gets dark.


4. Correction to #3. There is a limitless supply of sticks to pick up.  There is a limit to how many you can pick up before you start hearing voices in the forest.

5. Sitting around the campfire drinking a beer is a great way to pass the time.


6. Starting fires requires matches, because you don’t have the skills to rub the sticks together to create one.

7. You can use matches as soon as someone brings you keys to unlock the shed where the matches are.

8. Bring beer.

9. A percentage of your friends will not be interested in bringing you your forgotten keys.  This percentage may be significant.

10.  The best stories come from the dumbest mistakes.  Make it an adventure. And take a walk around the lake with the dogs to pass the time while waiting for those keys.

Lake Farm

But for those of you who follow the week to week progress, it was a routine week of hammer plaster, scoop plaster, throw plaster into dumpster, repeat.  The highlight of the weekend was …. BEARS!!!  Finally saw our bears – a momma and two cubs, about a mile east of the school.


Where is Mike Rowe when you need him?

The title says it all – this week was dirty and disgusting and thoroughly gross.  But very much needed.  I tackled THE ATTIC.

Mike Rowe needed!

After years of animal ‘squatters’, so to speak, it was fragrant.  At the highest, there is just enough room to stand up, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the only place that needed cleaned. So long hours crouched down wielding a shovel, a broom and a dustpan. The end result isn’t perfect, but better, much better.  Clean enough for the next step, which will be Bell Tower inspection.

Attic After

Two days, 3 showers and a beer (or two) later, it was on to bringing down the rest of the tin molding, or as I like to call it, the mouse highway.  But it came out pretty well, and we wrapped it up and stored it for later sandblasting.

Tin molding









In honor of Flag Day, we did a little upcycling and used some of the old lath from the walls to make a frame for the flag this year.

Flag Frame      School front with flag

Of course, it’s not all work and dirt and projects… a little chicken and pancake  breakfast starts the morning out right.  Keep this in mind if you’re considering coming up and joining the fun some weekend.  We feed you good!

Chicken and Pancakes









Even the Beagle got in a little R&R.

In the Doghouse

Making it ugly to make it beautiful again.

And let the demolition begin!  As much as our goal is to preserve the school in as original a state as possible, there are some steps that just have to happen to make it a gem again.  So this week we continued the tear down – with help!  Not to scare any potential visitors away, but this is what happens when you hang around – you’re given a hammer and pointed at a wall.  Janelle’s mom and dad came for the weekend, and once we got camp set up (it looks like we have a crew of 40 on site with this set up, but really, only 4 of us) we did not hesitate to put them to work!

Work crew vehicles

Here dad is removing all the lath and plaster from the back wall under the windows.  He made a great amount of progress in very little time.

Lath and plaster coming down









Not to be outdone, I donned protective equipment and dug in as well. Masked and ready! Protective equipment you say, whatever for, you say?  Turns out not only are tin crown moldings really beautiful to look at from the outside, but they make AWESOME mouse houses on the inside corners!Mouse in the Moldings







While I was busy on the ladder – climbing up, climbing down, occasionally falling down to speed up the process, Kevin checked off an item that has been on the master to-do list since last year.  Windows!  We now have new-to-us windows all along the south and east sides.  The sun streaming in looks great, and being able to look out all of them feels great.  I won’t miss the plywood at all.

All 6 windows







End of the day – school is starting to look a little different, a little more open, smelling a little fresher.  School cleaned up






Best part of the day (after showers) is watching the sun set on the beans…  Bean field

Setting up a makeshift kitchen for dinner…  outdoor kitchen





Creating Heaven in a Cone desserts on the fire…Heaven in a Cone








And relaxing and enjoying the great company.  We even took some time off to go visit a sister-school in the area – beautiful!Deer Lake School

© 2021 Bass Lake School

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑