Idaho Abandoned January 24, 2023
by Jennifer 10 Abandoned Schools In Idaho That Nature Is Reclaiming
There’s something beautiful and mysterious about the decrepit
modern 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 have a story to tell and seem to echo with the carefree laughter of generations of schoolchildren. Today, these abandoned schools around Idaho are stunning historical reminders of Idaho’s earliest pioneer days, although they may not remain standing for long.
Though the building itself is quite large, Humphrey was never a bustling town like many of its predecessors. In fact, the population only hovered around 25 for much of its existence. This abandoned schoolhouse in East-Central Idaho was officially closed in the 40s, after which many students were bused to Spencer for school. Spencer's old schoolhouse is now gone completely, and not much remains of Humphrey's crowning jewel.
2. 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 Register of Historic Places.
Post Falls, ID 83854, USA
Reynolds is an oft-forgotten ghost town in west Owyhee County - which may be because Owyhee County is the least-populated area of the state. Effectively in the "middle of nowhere," 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 relatively recent historical era.
5. Swan Valley
This gorgeous, aging schoolhouse just off of Highway 31 is being reclaimed by nature in the best way - although the details of its life and decline are unclear. Nevertheless, you'll find this aging beauty heading en route to Eastern Idaho's magnificent Teton region, so you know the scenery and setting is phenomenal.
Just outside of Caldwell once boomed the lively but short-lived city of Huston, established in 1911 by Ben Huston. The town acted as a shipping center for Caldwell, primarily for produce, but quickly dwindled away in the 1920s. By 2005 the last business, the Deer Flat Merc, had closed. While many of the students in Huston rode the interurban trolley to Caldwell for high school, younger children were taught in this old schoolhouse. Today, a private revitalization is underway, and this once-abandoned building in Southern Idaho can no longer quite be considered abandoned.
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 taken place over the years, most recently as a unique retreat center for families, corporate groups, and more.
Of course, like many abandoned buildings in Idaho, this former school comes with its own set of
, which the current owners have embraced. You'll find haunted mansion experiences and ghost tours every year around Halloween.
Tucked away by the Utah border and near the
town of Paris
in the Bear Lake Valley sits the unincorporated remains of Ovid, which was settled in 1864. Ovid reached its population peak in 1930 when 214 people lived there. This 1868 Mormon church and schoolhouse acted as both over the decades, but finally shuttered its doors in 1967. Though it may look petite, this abandoned building in Eastern Idaho is actually a lot bigger than it looks!
9. Silver City
While you'll find a multitude of cool modern ruins and abandoned places in this corner of Idaho,
is without a doubt one of the most well-known and well-preserved semi ghost towns in the state. This massive two-story schoolhouse from 1892 has been restored, although it is still abandoned today, like most of the town. However, if you want to step back in time and literally walk through some incredible Idaho history, Silver City is positively full of incredible places to explore.
Silver City, ID 83650, USA
Gibbonsville, both historically and present-day, is known for its dense vegetation, which has thankfully helped shield this community and its historic school from the harsh Idaho sun. Nestled in the Bitterroot Mountains, just a few miles shy of the Montana border, the small community of Gibbonsville, Idaho was originally one of Idaho's many mining towns. Long before that, however, Lewis and Clark traveled through the area in 1805.
Restored and well-preserved, the Gibbonsville schoolhouse now acts as the "Gibtown" Relic Museum. The school shuttered when mining abruptly ended in 1959.
Gibbonsville, ID 83463, USA
Do you know anything else about these old school buildings or any others we should check out? Share your historical tidbits!
For more unique pieces of Idaho history, the entirety of this small town in Idaho is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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The OIYS Visitor Center
Abandoned Schools in Idaho & Related Info
January 27, 2023
Are there any ghost towns in Idaho?
Rooted in centuries of mining and Native American history, Idaho is home to quite a few gold and silver boomtowns that have been lost to time. Some of these town sites are still considered “living” ghost towns or even “semi ghost towns,” while others have little to nothing remaining. For a taste of true Idaho history, visit some of these unique ghost towns in Idaho:
Boulder City, Idaho
De Lamar, Idaho
Rocky Bar, Idaho
Silver City, Idaho