Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Changing Landscape

When we first moved here, I didn't realize how many old buildings were scattered throughout the neighborhood. There were plenty in our yard (and we were living in one of them). But so many others dotted the landscape that it was difficult to count them.

To me, they represented the pioneering spirit and the absolute strength that was required to live on this land and eek out a living prior to the invention of little luxuries like refrigerators, electric stoves, and indoor plumbing.

I also caught the irony of the fact that if we had lived here 60 years ago, we would have had many more neighbors than we do now. While the population of urban areas continues to rise, our rural neighborhoods are being vacated.

In addition to houses, barns, and root cellars, the rural areas of Montana also boast quite a collection of abandoned schoolhouses.

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This particular schoolhouse was built just down the hill from our home, and it was one of my favorite old buildings. While driving by, a person could peek inside the open window frames and glimpse the chalkboards at the front of the classroom.

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It doesn't sit in its footprint anymore. Last spring, it was moved into town to become a museum.

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While part of me is happy to see it restored and appreciated, another part of me is saddened each time I glimpse the horizon and see its profile missing. It's another little piece of the neighborhood (and the rural culture) that is gone.

11 comments:

kateohkatie said...

Wow--what I wouldn't give to live in an era with such rich history...

Anonymous said...

I love those old buildings, too. I think (hope, since I haven't been in a few years) that the old Tyler schoolhouse out of Grass Range still stands. My grandma taught school there for years, as well as several other old schools around G.R. There's something beautiful and .. I don't know what the word is, melancholy, maybe (?) about those buildings. I love thinking about and wondering about the people who used them.

Robin.

Jenny said...

Very neat. There are a few places like that around here, but most of the homes didn't weather so well, alot of foundations are all that's left. You can tell alot of times where a homestead once stood because they are the only places with trees.

Stacie said...

What a gorgeous area.

Jenn said...

Great pictures,love the schoolhouse

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

That's true around here too. Gotta make way for progress.

minnesotamom said...

We used to play in such a schoolhouse down the road from my grandparents' house. It was heated by a wood-burning stove in the corner, and some of the old textbooks left behind were completely in Swedish.

Heather said...

Beautiful!

Rina the Mama Bear said...

Gorgeous. I'm linking in my Link Love post if you don't mind!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Oh my goodness...love the old schoolhouse! I think I'd miss seeing it everyday too.

My MIL went to school in a one-room schoolhouse.

Joanne

Anonymous said...

your site is very beautiful.


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