Missouri Heights Schoolhouse Renovation

In 1956, the Missouri Heights Schoolhouse closed its doors as an educational center. Succeeding years of non-use, neglect and lack of proper funds sent the building into disrepair. Efforts by Missouri Heights Community League volunteers helped with small repairs but much more was needed to bring life and character back to the little school.

In 1999, the Missouri Heights Schoolhouse was designated a state and national historic site. Under this designation, the building became eligible to receive historic preservation funds. The League submitted a grant request for enough money to restore the building to its original condition. But the grant required a matching cash contribution by the community. Hearing this, Missouri Heights residents stepped up to the plate and fundraising efforts were underway. Led in large part by League then-president Davis Farrar and community historian Anita Witt, along with generous donations from community members, the MHCL was able to raise the money needed to match the state grant. The effort took three years.

In the spring of 2002, construction began on the schoolhouse, two outhouses, a coal shed and the teacher’s living quarters (teacherage). The League hired contractor Greg Peters, who had extensive experience in historic renovations and who also happened to live nearby. In keeping with state guidelines for historic renovation, a new roof was installed using shake shingles that matched the original roof. Interior electrical wiring was replaced, insulation added, interior walls sheet-rocked and the outside painted. Greg chose to place a “window” on a portion of the original lathe and plaster walls so that visitors could appreciate the quality of construction in the early 1900s.


In 2007, a well was dug, bringing water into the building after 90 years. A refrigerator, water heater, irrigation system and window treatments were installed in 2008. Today, the little schoolhouse is the very center of activity for community members, friends and visitors. 

The schoolhouse is available for rental year-round and has been enjoyed by many for everything from weddings to educational conferences.

Looking forward, community volunteers hope to fulfill a wish list that includes planting additional trees, flower gardens and lawn re-seeding.

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