The Book and the Store

The book THE HISTORY OF CARL SCHOOL will be one of the many items for sale at the new General Store in Ada.  The General Store is the refurbished building of Carl School.   How neat to have the book on the history of the school right there in the rebuilt school building.   The grand opening will be today August 22nd.   Art was there to sign any books that customers purchased.

Here is Art with the Store Manager.

art at village store

The Latest Events and Plans

Several Carl School graduates have travelled back in time to their years at Carl School and spent some time with me recalling the good memories and values of learning offered by a one room school.  Not only have these old (as in time, not age) friends enjoyed the recalls but I did as well.

Which brings us to the next big event. When the book was published, we doubted that there would be a second edition and, well, maybe that is still the case.  However, there are a few improvements in the text that need changing.  The most significant shortfall in the  content is the section on the teachers.  The teachers during the years after, say, 1953 were unknown to the author and therefore, their biographical sketches were, to say the least, sketchy.   So, in this next printing, we will make a call to all those people who attended the school from 1953 to 1964 to send us some one-liners on how they remembered their teacher(s).  We will take it from there and create some readable text and add it to the copy for the next printing. The teachers in this focus are: Peterson, Johnson, Brown, Hunt, Bazaire, Salamone, Klink.  There are two Petersons listed, one for 1953 and the other for 1959-1960—not sure if they are the same person.



More Changes for the old Building

As reported earlier, the wooden building used as a one room school in Ada District No.3 has been used for commercial purposes for many years, is now owned by Amway and will be used as a welcome center for the town of Ada.  What a great outcome for this old historic structure.

Here is a photo of the exterior—it appears its is waiting for siding to be applied.

Go to the store named NQ99HQ in ETSY.COM to buy the book—Its free shipping this month.



Oh No, Not Another Book

Writing the history of Carl School was so much of a challenge that we decided to write a second book.  This new book is related to the topic of Carl School in that it will focus on the unstructured time that kids had in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  We found in our research on Carl School that  we, in fact, lived through a period of time that was quite unique because nearly  all of our time, in school and at home, was unstructured. The heart of the book will be stories of the period, plus some discussion on unstructured time.
We have started a new blog, so go check it out in its fledgling state.

New Photos on the Moving Day

We found some photos of the day of moving of the old school.  Looks sad to say the least. These photos are not in the book as the book was published before these two photos were found.

The colors did not come out too well, as the green of the siding does not show on the left photo.  That’s my dad standing in the left photo, and my mother in the right photo.  They always liked to have an individual stand in the photo to anchor it to a person or place.

The History of Carl School is published.

Printing went smoothly at a digital printer in Michigan, with 50 copies made on this first run.  We could have printed more, but since the New York Times has not yet heard of this book, we decided to print just this many at first.

The book has lots of text describing the history of the school and many pages of photos and stories.  It should not only be a good historical record, but a pleasure to read.

book cover

The books ISBN is 978-0-9977690-0-5.  It can be purchased for $20.00 postpaid to your address.

The Book

Now at 251 pages, 35,172 words and considered finished.  So, printed to file a copy in .pdf format, suitable for sending to the printer.  ——————But then, I took one more run through it looking for errors or opportunities for making it a bit better.  Unfortunately, I found five changes I could make.

So, will not rush this thing through after all the effort that went into it.  MAYBE someone will come along with some more information in the next few days, then I can add that and make the five fixes at that time

THEN, I swear the proofreading will be done

Finding Old One-Room School Buildings

We visited McDade, Texas for their annual Watermelon Festival.  While in this small town of some four commercial buildings, all of which were closed long ago,  we found the McDade Historical Museum.  In addition to observing the Yegua Notch Cutters list of those who had been killed in the 1800’s, we learned of a nearby one room school still standing.  More about the visit to McDade and the Historical Museum (great museum)  on

We found the school building in a bend of the road, the area named Knobb Springs.  Yes, still on the county maps.  The local church bought the school and its grounds, and the building is now used as a storeroom.

Here are some photos:

This first one is of the outside.  On this side, there were all windows, and on the other side were two doors.  It shows that it was up on piers and with a wooden floor.

knobb springs outside

Inside, the picture here shows their furnace.  It appeared to be a grand old furnace, jacketed as was Carl School’s furnace, but smaller as the winters here are not so severe.

knobb springs stoveA local man whom we flagged down, told us all  about this school and one part of the story was particularly interesting.  The ceiling pattern of black smudges was created by using the soot from a oil lamp held just below the wood. Seems like a time consuming task for sure.  They did get a uniform appearance , so some experience and skill was involved.

knobb springs ceiling


She Wasn’t a Very Good Student Anyway

Sometime in about 1961, plus or minus a year or so, a white tailed deer decided to accompany her friends, the Osmolinski boys to school.  The deer, having been accustomed to kids since its fawnhood, then responded to the invitation to go into the classroom.

As this was unfolding, a Grand Rapids Press photographer was driving by and saw a good story in the making.

Here is the press article, thanks to Kevin’s mother’s files.


The Status of the Manuscript

As of this date and time, the manuscript consists of 265 pages and 32,320 words.  This is getting close to being done, but done is a changing target as everytime we reread the manuscript, we find that there are some facts we overlooked, or that some parts of the text need to be backed up with an EndNote.
Take for example, the story of Carl Bengert.  The folks at Calvary Baptist Church have provided some detail on the work of Mr. Bengert who conducted a Bible story class at the School on occasions.  This  sort of information  is  out of the mainstream of the book  but interesting enough to placed in an EndNote. Thus, another page is added to the book.

We will be searching for a publisher, but in the event that none will take up the work of publishing, then we will self publish and look for someone who can manufacture the book.

We realize that this book will probably not be a “NY Times Best Seller”, so that limits the availability of publishers.

Stories List is Growing

The book will have a lot of facts, but facts can be a bit boring–depends.

But stories recalled by those who experienced Carl School activity will add some interest.

So far, here is the list of topics for stories.  Some topics are just titles at the moment. Needed is some comment from those who were there to fill in the detail.

Electric car treat; bible study; school bell; tricks at the chalk board; daily lunch; climbing the social ladder; the daily routine; graduating class trip; bookmobile; kids maintenance work; games of summer; games of winter; memory books from the teacher; a long story from long ago; quarantines; art day; music day; lesson plans on the table; discipline; report cards; school picnic at fallasburg; field meets; paperback text books; Christmas pageants; Red Cross drives; Halloween party; St. Valentines Day party.

Any more?   Send them in.

Found: Two One-room schools

In New Mexico recently, we ran across a black stone building that looked as if it could have been a school, and our digging into the records on the internet tells us that it was once a school.  In some more detail on its history, the school was started by the Mormon community that settled here in Carson, New Mexico in the late 1800’s and by 1920 built this school.   The school building is a bit unusual in that it does not have any windows, but in the backyard is an outhouse.  It is located right across the road (state highway that runs between Carson and Taos Junction) from the US Post Office.  This post office, according to the USPS website, is operated “remotely” from Ranchos de Taos, some 30  miles away and by a torturous route down the canyon side to cross the Rio Grande.

Here is the photo of this rock school house.  The bell is still in the short tower.

Then much nearer home, in a little community by the name of Uhland, there is a German church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, where the local people held a fall Harvest Festival.  Turkey dinner and all the trimmings.  Only by chatting with the local men after the lunch did we learn that the Community Center, where the Festival was held, was once a one-room school.


Well, this one has windows, but no bell tower.


Old Records

Here on an scouting trip to New Mexico, I ran into a very good book that describes the early development of education in New Mexico.

Now, Carl School building was already 40 some years old when New Mexico became a state.  So much of the development of schools in New Mexico followed the experience of that in more mature states.

Here is the cover of the book, paid $1 for it at a used book sale:

P1010230I have hunted for books on Michigan schools like this for some time but found none.

Speaking about old buildings, how do you like this old Presbyterian Church in Taiban, New Mexico?