There’s something beautiful and mysterious about the decrepit ruins of centuries-old buildings. But there’s also something a little haunting as well when those buildings are the remnants of former schoolhouses – they each each have a story to tell and seem to echo with the ancient, carefree laughter of long-gone schoolchildren. Today, these school buildings across the state are stunning historical reminders of Idaho’s earliest pioneer days.
Though it doesn't look like much today, the old Mann Creek schoolhouse is still a fond memory for a vast number of local Weiser residents.
Though the building itself is quite large, Humphrey was never a bustling town like many of its predecessors, with a population hovering around 25 for much of its existence. This schoolhouse was closed in the 40s, after which many students were bused to Spencer for school. Spencer's old schoolhouse is now gone completely, however.
3. Post Falls
In 1909, a grant was passed to build the Pleasantview school - a then-two room schoolhouse that taught grades 1-12. It was a large upgrade from the one-room building just a few hundred feet away. Pleasantview was officially opened in 1910, complete with "His and Hers privies," where it continued to partner with the school in Post Falls over the years to educate students as well as undergo the modernization process. Pleasantview finally merged with Post Falls completely in 1937, and today this little school is listed on the National Historic Registry.
Reynolds is an oft-forgotten ghost town in Owyhee County - which may be because Owyhee County is the least-populated area of the state. Effectively in the middle of "nowhere," then, the town went through multiple name changes. However, school lessons were consistently taught by William Dryden, who also held additional church services in the schoolhouse as well. Today, the tired front porch clings to life while the glass-less windows create a panoramic view of a stunning landscape that is still pristine to this day.
When the community of Jerome was first formed in Southern Idaho, it was more expansive and rural than it is today. To effectively accommodate students, there were four school districts, one covering each compass direction. Appleton (built in the 1920s) was the "west" school district, and due to its size, had a community all of its own. In the 1960s, when Jerome's growth reached a point where more people lived inside the city than out, the multiple districts were replaced with the current Jerome School District, with all the schools located inside the city. This is no one-room schoolhouse, however -- the remnants here are modern throwbacks to a recent historical era.
6. Swan Valley
This gorgeous, aging schoolhouse just off of Highway 31 is being reclaimed by nature in the best way -- although its past is shrouded in mystery.
Just outside of Caldwell once stood the lively but short-lived city of Huston, established in 1911 by Ben Huston. It was once used as a shipping center for Caldwell, primarily for produce, but quickly dwindled away in the 20s. By 2005 the last business, the Deer Flat Merc, had closed. While many off the students in Huston rode the interurban trolley to Caldwell for high school, younger children were taught in this old schoolhouse. Today, little more than a skeleton remains.
The Albion State Normal School, launched in 1893, was an educational institution for teachers. Funding troubles continuously plagued the school, but over the course of its 60-year tenure, awarded nearly 7,000 certificates. It was one of only two teacher education schools in early Idaho, built brick by brick by the town residents. Numerous attempts to revive or restore the building have manifested over the years, but the campus is still the victim of vandalism, paranormal sessions, and time itself.
In the Southeast corner of Idaho in the Bear Lake valley sits the unincorporated remains of Ovid, which was settled in 1864. This Mormon church and schoolhouse acted as both over the years somce being built in 1868, and is actually a lot bigger than it looks!
10. Silver City
Silver City is a beautifully preserved semi-ghost town that is making strides towards revival. However, this massive 2-story schoolhouse is still abandoned.
Gibbonsville historically and present-day is known for its dense vegetation, which has thankfully helped shield this community school from the harsh Idaho sun. Restored and well-preserved, this school now acts as the Relic Museum, launched after mining came to an abrupt end in 1959, although the original school -- the Spring Creek Schoolhouse -- wasn't too far away.
Do you know anything else about these old school locales? Share your historical tidbits! For more unique pieces of Idaho history, check out these beautiful,
abandoned spots in Idaho (like this old waterpark)!