Saturday, July 21, 2007

Interest in Rural Schools is Growing

Back in 1997, I began a project to drive Greene County and comb through 100-plus year old records, to discover the rural school buildings that were still standing in this county. Turned out there were a bunch of them. In fact, nearly 70 of the 124 were still standing at that time.

I put together a book, which can be purchased from the Greene County MU Extension Center, and worked with the Greene County Historic Sites Board to get many of the better cared-for schools on the county's historic sites register.

Lots of information about this effort can be found at the "Rural Schools of Greene County Project."

Most recently, I have redriven the county to update a driving tour of the best schools. You can see an online map HERE or download the 10-page printed map (complete with pictures) HERE for free. In just 10 years, 5 of these buildings that were standing in 1997 have been lost. Others are in much worst condition and most of them are in need of attention.

That is why I was so excited this week to read about the efforts of a group in Strafford to restore the historic NorthStar School there. Read about that group's effort HERE.

Here is a little information about that school from my book:

#69 North Star
Stands at the corner of Madison and Olive in Strafford, immediately south of City Hall and Old Rt. 66. Serves as a community center. Original site of the school was south of Strafford on Hwy. YY, east of Hwy. 125. Building was moved to Strafford Sept. 8, 1952, south of the railroad on old Rt. 66 to be used as a club for the Women's Progressive Farming Association (WPFA).

You can find my photo of the school HERE.

For more information, send me an e-mail or post your question in the comments section of this blog.


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