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This is a photo of Lower Fox Creek School. It is a one room school located approximately 2 miles north of Strong City, Kansas and situated alongside the Flint Hills Byway (Hwy 177). The building rests atop a grassy knoll which is part of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. The idea for the school was conceived in 1878 and after a parcel of land was donated by local rancher Stephen F. Jones, construction began. It was built from limestone blocks brought from a quarry nearby. Typical of most one room schools, there was a separate door for the girls and boys to enter, thus the 2 doors in the front. An interesting feature in this photo is the handcrafted native limestone wall that protected the slope on the north side of the school. It is meticulously constructed with every stone fitted in place perfectly. Though it was finished in 1882, the school didn't open until Sept. 1 of 1884. The first teacher was Dora Peer who made a whopping $35 a month. The school remained open until 1930 when low annual attendance dropped too low. The building fell into disrepair over the years being used as hay storage or a bunkhouse, even losing it's roof in an apparent tornado one year.
In 1968, interested parties began an effort to restore the once proud building. Remodeled to near original specs down to even the desks and chairs, the school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Then in 1996, approximately 11,000 acres of native tallgrass prairie, including the acreage with the school, was acquired by the National Park Service for purposes of preservation. Today, a partnership between the Nature Conservancy and National Park Service manages the park.
March 28th, 2013
Viewed 17 Times - Last Visitor from Beverly Hills, CA on 07/25/2014 at 11:17 PM
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