Bass Lake School

The rebirth of a country school.

$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….

Memorial DAY – It’s all Ours!

Closing Day – the goal was Memorial Day, and we made it – just barely!  I picked up Sandra and we went together.  Talked about the good times she had growing up with the school and the great future we both foresaw for it now.  How did we get from the finding to this place?  Stay tuned, and I will fill in the details as to how we got here.0323141327a (2)

…in the beginning

It all started with an evening at home, bored with TV and my book, roaming around on the internet browsing real estate finds.  A jotted down address, a casual mention of it to Kevin with a reply of ‘well lets go out and look’.  An hour long Sunday drive, coming over the hill and around the curve past the lake, the disappointment in the house we were looking for and the moment the angels started singing and the sun came out when we looked down the road and both said ‘What is THAT?” THAT was this, the Bass Lake Schoolhouse, inhabited as a school from 1904 – 1944.  Currently searching for someone, us, to find it, love it, save it.  This blog, then, is about that.