Commemorating Your Schoolhouse
Is your country school a Landmark School? The CSAA National Schoolhouse Registry is a listing of schools determined to be significant and contribute in some positive way to the appreciation and understanding of the country school experience and their unique architectural and historical heritage. We are pleased to recognize preservation efforts for this part of American educational history and hope that this recognition will, in some way, continue to help their efforts.
Markers are awarded to school buildings that are at least 50 years old, that have been restored, renovated or reconstructed to retain the integrity of their original design, and are well maintained. It is the hope of the Country School Association of America that this registry and the subsequent marker will not only serve to identify school buildings of historical and/or architectural significance, but will also recognize preservation achievements and encourage the continuing care and preservation of each individual school.
Applications for the registry and a marker are reviewed and researched by a committee that meet at least once a year, and may include architects, historians and preservationists. At this meeting applications are reviewed, and decisions are made with regard to the National Schoolhouse Registry and awarding the specially fabricated marker.
Although there is no application fee, applicants must be members of the CSAA in order to be considered for the registry.
Once recommended and approved by the committee, the fee for marker fabrication, if you desire one, is $200 plus $25 for shipping.
For a list of CSAA Landmark Schools and Submission Guidelines, access the links below:
"Preserving the Past to Enrich the Future..."
In 2016, CSAA members traveled to Fredericksburg, Texas to attend the annual country school conference hosted by a very active preservation group, the Friends of Gillespie County Schools. Here we were introduced to a fascinating city steeped in history, where we enjoyed presentations, scenery, samplers, and schoolhouses. But that wasn't the whole story. The tour of local schoolhouses included the display of a number of colorful advertising curtains, backdrops for the school's stage performances.
After completing a restoration project of one such treasure, the Willow City School painted curtain, Friends member Jane Woellhof undertook the project of photographing and researching other curtains still known to exist in the Gillespie County area. Her work culminated in "An Album of Painted School Stage Curtains, Gillespie County Country Schools, Fredericksburg, Texas".
Here we are pleased to share her project highlighting a monumental 6-year project to document the surviving advertising curtains in the county. For those of us who were unfamiliar with such curtains, the artwork spoke loudly of the level of community support for their public schools, their children, and their performances.
In this link you will enjoy the story that unfolds and the questions still to be answered. You are invited to share any information you have on stage curtains with CSAA member Jane Woellhof and the Friends of Gillespie County Schools.
Thanks to Jane and Friends for sharing their website and their on-going preservation work!
Access the stage curtain project and the FOGCS websites with the buttons below.
Take the Second Street School Virtual Tour
Submitted by CSAA Member Ralph Buglass
Coordinator of the 2019 CSAA Annual Country School Conference, Frederick, MD
Without a doubt, this post will provide you with a totally unique experience provided by the Waterford Foundation, Inc. of Loudon County, Virginia! The Second Street School, built for African-American children in the 19th century, was on the CSAA tour during the 2019 conference. A virtual tour of the schoolhouse is now available--a great opportunity for those who were unable to experience it on our tour as well as those who may want to revisit it!
A 10-minute video explaining the school's importance is also part of the tour. Click on the link below for the tour, then click on the camera icon to see the video. Enjoy!
Then be sure to visit the Waterford Foundation website, another fascinating site filled with history and programming in Waterford, Virginia, the town designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The CSAA sends our congratulations and thanks to the foundation for their excellent promotional presentation of a preserved country school. We certainly had a memorable visit!
Waterford is definitely a destination, so you will want to check out the Waterford Fair, October 6-8, 2023.
Recalling Her Schoolhouse Days
Congratulations to CSAA member, Elizabeth Doherty, on the publication of her new book: "IN ONE ROOM: STORIES FROM A PRAIRIE SCHOOL," illustrated by Della Conroy. Elizabeth explains that she always wanted to write a book, but never imagined it would be written at age 75, and be a remembrance of her childhood days at the District #20 Schoolhouse in Tara Township, Minnesota.
According to Elizabeth, "What began as an attempt to save a building resulted in the need to preserve its story. How one room shaped the lives of its students and teachers, the joys, the hardships, the closeness, together formed something much greater than simply education. Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Dave Barry in this narrative of a one room schoolhouse which served the children of a small prairie community in western Minnesota until 1959."
Elizabeth Doherty has proven that it's never too late to follow a dream and serves as an inspiration to all of us who wished we had taken pen to paper.
You can support our fellow CSAA member by adding to your schoolhouse library, or by gifting a fellow schoolhouse enthusiast. "IN ONE ROOM: STORIES FROM A PRAIRIE SCHOOL" can be found on-line at Amazon ($19.00 hardcover) or Barnes and Noble (Hardcover $19.99 and Paperback $14.99).
YOU ARE INVITED TO:
The 23rd Annual Iowa Country School Preservation Conference
Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, 2023
The Sawmill Museum
2231 Grant Street
Clinton IA 52732
Friday promises a line-up of country school presentations on the history, preservation, and programming in our remaining country schools. Saturday you will enjoy a coach tour to historical sites and schoolhouses in and around Clinton, IA. Meet schoolhouse enthusiasts from around the country!
You will also be treated to the premiere of the Fourth Wall Films documentary:
"Resurrecting Forest Grove School at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Meet the Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle.
For complete information, daily schedule, tour itinerary, and on-line registration, click on the link below.
Please note the hotel recommendation has been changed as The Hampton Inn does not offer conference rates: Contact Super 8 by Wyndham, 1711 Lincoln Way., Clinton. IA. Phone number 563-231-2601. Mention your attendance at the conference for a more reasonable rate.