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Saturday, July 14, 2012

ONE ROOM SCHOOL HOUSE OR ONE ROOM CHURCH?

For Sale Building

I have passed by this building many times since moving to Kentucky. 

It always appeared empty and had a worn sign by the road announcing it was the church of love. Yet, my gut feeling was that it was probably once a one room schoolhouse now converted to a defunct church. Its building  form matched those used for early one room schoolhouses. 

Yesterday as I rode by I noticed there was a For Sale sign in front of the place that I had not noticed before. Good, I thought, I can walk on the property and take some photos as the place was definitely empty.  

In back of this one room building were two outhouses -- one with a newer sign stating "women" and the other not marked. The building sat on about an acre of land which would have allowed kids to play a good game of baseball during recess. Windows lining the one side of the building allows sunshine to flow inside. An old brick chimney jutted through the front gabled roof -- probably once belonging to a wood stove. By now you might be getting the picture -- this was a primitive building that was probably built in the early 1900s.

I looked for some other clues that might tell me its age. As I walked around the place I noticed a small spot that exposed the original limestone foundation which was a popular material for old foundations 

Building foundation

To truly say this was once a one room schoolhouse I would need to visit the county court house and search old plat maps. This takes time. I didn't want this to turn into a research project -- I would rather leave that to the new generations. 


Many buildings have had different uses during their lifetime. Log houses are covered with weatherboarding, schoolhouses with vinyl, all to hide their original lives. 


But form is usually a major clue -- telling us its original use.  For now I am sticking with my theory that it was once a country schoolhouse.

13 comments:

  1. I'll take your informed guess. I see an A/C has been added surely by the church members. Probably it needs plumbing. It'll be interesting whether it is put to commercial use next or just what its fate will be.

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    1. June -- Yes, your eyes are right -- an AC plus some other changes, shutters definitely newish and ugly beige/yellow siding. trying to make it look spiffy I guess. If someone buys the property they would have to sink some money into it to run water conduits to update. As it stands it has no plumbing. thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  2. Works for me! I love the old building.

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    1. NCmountainwoman -- Too bad that old buildings are not appreciated for their original beauty -- cheap fix-ups do it a disservice. thanks -- barbara

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  3. Do I see a wooden log on top of the stone foundation? Intriguing blog. The shape of the building closely resembles old school houses in our area, as well. The mystery of its past life allows us to wonder and imagine. That's the fun of it all. Thank you.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Nature Weaver -- yes, there is a wood foundation beam above the limestone. Not really a log. You are so right, the interest for many of us is to wonder and imagine the history of our old buildings. thanks -- barbara

      P.S. Screwed up a word on my first comment back to you so this reply is my second attempt. Its late so maybe I should consider it my bedtime.

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  4. Sometimes we have to dig deep to find ourselves and so much more.

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    1. Birdman -- Your comment is appropriate to not only finding the original life of the building but also to our own life -- very good comment -- barbara

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  5. It is this kind of thing that gets curiosity going - You are going to be gnawed by this one!

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    1. RunE -- I like solving architectural puzzles. I don't do the intensive research that I used to do -- I'm retired now and I try to keep things simple -- thanks -- barbara

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  6. I like it. I would take off the siding and shutters. It could have just been a church, I used to go to a church that looked like that and it had only been used as a church. They had a pot belly stove in the middle of the aisle and outside toilets. It has since been renovated with inside plumbing and the pot belly stove has been taken out. There is a mural painted on the entire back wall behind the pulpit. One of my husband's ancestors donated the land and was the first preacher there.

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    1. Janet -- thanks for the information on your local church. You certainly have historical roots in your area. I wonder how long the mural has been on the wall? I also wondered if the church had a small cemetery as so many of the little country churches do in states I am most familiar with like Michigan, Ohio, and KY -- thanks -- barbara

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