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Keystone South Dakota 1899 Schoolhouse

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Posted 6 years ago

(113 items)

Here are some pictures of our towns 1899 Schoolhouse. It was in use as a school up till 1988. It's currently in the process of restoration. The Keystone Area Historical Society is using it as a Museum and Living Schoolhouse. Each Spring they host thousands of school children from across the state, and give them a living history lesson, of what it would be like to attend school in 1900. They sit at antique school desks, use slate chalkboards, and get period lessons from retired teachers in period garb. The girls wear period Bonnets and the boys Caps.

In the past years the Historical Society has acomplished incredible progress in saving this piece of history. They have repaired the foundation, repainted the exterior and reroofed it. Last year they restored the original woodwork in the lobby and staircases. What is incredible is this town is a community of 327 people.

Last week I had the opportunity for the first time to tour this historical gem. It is screaming with potential. I just want to thank all the people that have worked so hard to save it. If you would like more history on it just google "Keystone Schoolhouse".


  1. bratjdd bratjdd, 6 years ago
    I love the fact the people come together to save and restore structures from the past. This is a great example of saving a School from the past. History is important to pass to our next Generation. I can see that they put their heart and soul to restore it. Its beautiful!!! They did a great job.
    Thank you, for sharing and I appreciate History
  2. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Thanks Bellin68
  3. jjackson jjackson, 6 years ago
    This is great. Love to see the preserved interior!
  4. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the comments bratjdd. This is a work in progress. They have done an excellent job of restoring the exterior and fixing the foundation and moisture issues that should preserve the building for future generations. Now they are starting to focus on the interior. The first floor classrooms are being restored for museum display's and a Gift Shop to try to fund further restoration. The upstairs classrooms will be restored for use as a living school museum. Unfortunately a lot of the original fixtures are gone and replacements will have to be found. I have been recruited to help with that.
  5. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    What will be the age of the children attending?
  6. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Second , third and possibly fourth grade.
  7. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Thanks Maniken, trgrubaugh, jjackson, toolate2, walksoftly and officialfuel. They are trying to find some early copies of McGuffy schoolbooks, such as Readers, Geography, Spelling and Arithmetic. If any one knows of any let me know.
  8. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the love, gargoyalcollector, beachbomb, and packrat-place.
  9. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    Thank you marcobabe13
  10. Kathycat Kathycat, 6 years ago
    I just have a thing for older buildings and houses. To me the workmanship on them were always so beautiful.
    By the way, there is a place on site that is selling McGuffey's books and the prices are not bad at all. I don't know if I can say the name on this site so I'll just give you a hint. It is a very popular site and it starts with a E and ends with a Y.
  11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 2 years ago
    Too bad they destroyed that beautiful foundation by covering it up with dirt and pavement. Just does not have the drama as in the postcard with the huge foundation showing. The old postcard gives the impression that you are walking up to the bates motel !
  12. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 2 years ago
    I think they covered the foundation back in the sixties. What they did inside was even worse! At one point they turned the first floor into City Hall and put in drop ceilings and florescent lighting. Because this was still used as a school until 1988, they went in at some point and covered all the beadboard in the main staircase with some type of spray foam material that was suppose to act as a fire retardent.
    Luckily the group of people in control now have restored the woodwork and removed the drop ceiling and replaced the lighting with appropriate school house light.
    It's funny Phil that you mention the Bates Hotel, one of the biggest fund raisers for the school house each year is the Haunted School. Each year they turn it into a haunted house and thousands of people get the crap scared out of them.

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