I grew up in a small Ohio town, and I rode the school bus from 1st through 12th grades. My bus ride always included a country road on which every school day we saw a one-room brick school house. (SW corner of Stine Rd and Enon-Xenia Pike). As the years went by, I watched this wonderful, familiar friend fall apart. After I married, the school really began to deteriorate. Every time we visited the area I would want to take a photo of the school, but never did. Finally, when we went specifically for the task, the school was gone. It was a huge loss for me and, since that time, whenever we pass a one-room school, it is a joy to stop to take a picture or two. Thus, our collection here, and the one with schools in other states. Jill :oD

Saturday, November 20, 2010

East Amsterdam School, Pella, IA

To find this school, you must head west from Pella on University, which becomes Idaho Drive as it bends SW.  About 1.5 miles SW of state highway 163 you will come to 198th Place on the left side of the road.  Turn south on 198th and go .4 mile.
A rail fence in front of the school prevents a clean frontal shot.  This is the south side of the school.  The addition at the rear holds an oil tank.  It may have possibly previously been for storing firewood.
This next photo of the playground on the south side of the school shows a pump.  I think this may have been moved here for display purposes, because in front of the school, next to the fence, is a square-shaped wooden cover over a hole which looks like a place for a well.
The original outhouses still stand behind the school, although they have caged them so you can only look inside.

Finally, the north side of the school.
This school was built in 1882.  It had a twin three miles west along the Des Moines River, and these schools replaced one earlier brick structure which was in the railroad right-of-way; the railroad wanted it moved so the Amsterdam School District sold it to them for $200.

Pella was a Dutch settlement, so the Dutch language was used in some of the teaching, and some of the first pupils wore wooden shoes to school.  A stable used to also stand next to the school.  In 1958 the school came under the Pella Community School district, but some classes continued in this school until 1960.

According to the Pella "Tulip Time" website, tours can be arranged by appointment.  Screens on the windows prevented photography, but the site says the school "still contains the old stove, desks and other items used during its last years as a school."  It is now maintained by neighbors and owned by the Pella Historical Society.

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