Friday, August 2, 2013

A Discovery

While driving around still searching for the little schoolhouse that my mom and I tried to buy 30 years ago, I have made some discoveries. 

I have not written about the schoolhouse, I don't think.  It was on an acre of land, deeded by a farmer to the school district, and was actually two stories tall, as they had taken the upstairs storage and converted it into four eaves bedrooms.  Downstairs, the living room still had the chalkboards on two walls. 
There was a huge kitchen across the back, and a mudroom with shelves built in, for canned goods to be stored. 

Mother and I contracted to buy it, but our big house in town would not sell.  These were the eighties, and interest rates were in the teens, for those of you who remember. 

After almost a year, we let the nice people out of the contract, and a few months later, I drove out there to look at the little building again... and it was gone, totally gone.  I could see the foundation, and there did not appear to be any signs of fire, etc.. 

The little barn that stood behind it was still there.  

I have never found anyone who could tell me what happened to it, and where it was moved. 

So... I have driven up hill and down dale for the last few weeks, hoping to find the site once again, and see if I can find someone who has lived in the area for many years, and can tell me. 

Look what I found today: 

Three Muleteers... look what I found!  This one's for you, and FH and Catanian! 

Isn't he handsome? 

Love this old red barn.  I wish we had one just like it! 

See that whiskey barrel? 

About ten minutes after this picture, where the boys were being BOYS, the bottom fell out of it. 
It's going into one of the garden beds to corral mint next year.  
Always a silver lining. 
I need another platform now, for the third goat, who is coming home tomorrow morning! 

Then, while whizzing along a wider road, I saw the top of a stone on the hill, and made a quick turn. 

I've said it before... I love old cemeteries. 

This one is maintained very well by the City of Bonner Springs.  Way to go, Bonner! 

Walton Ollie Currie... Approved by all and loved so well,
Tho young, like fruit that's ripe, he fell

Only 20. 

His parents rest just behind him.  If you notice, next to their leaning stone are a group of other, older stones that have broken apart over the years. 

These stones were in a pipe fence enclosure. 

There were probably a dozen Civil War veteran's stones.  How, you may ask, did a man from Ohio end up in a tiny graveyard in Bonner Springs? 

Along with about ten guys from Illinois and Missouri? 

Did you ever hear of "40 Acres and a Mule"?  Yes, the Homestead Act brought all these veterans to the Midwest.  After the war, they drifted west and south, and took up their little homesteads, leaving behind their mothers and fathers and starting new families and traditions in Kansas.  
Here they lie, in their adopted land. 

"Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven"

Her name is in the dirt, but next time I go, I'll take a brush and gently brush it away so people can read her name. 

Some of the stones look almost brand new. 
This is another Civil War veteran. 

And some are almost invisible... yes, there are TWO stones in there. 

I'm taking some clippers next time. 

'But here is the picture that to me is most interesting.  If you "biggify" this by clicking on it, you will see a single stone away to the west, away from the rest of the stones.  It is all by itself.  It you look at the tree on the right, in the middle distance, you will see another stone.  There is actually one near it, hidden by the tree. 
These three are separated from the rest of the cemetery. 

I have a theory. 

We are in "free" Kansas, it was NOT a slave state, though I know of many cemeteries here where African American people were buried separately from others. 

I think there are graves in between, and I'm going to run down to the Wyandotte County historical society one of these days soon, to find out about it. This cemetery is just over the line in my home county, Wyandotte. 

We had a terrible cholera epidemic here in the 1850's... and I am wondering if there are many unmarked graves, or graves that have been swallowed by the earth. 

I love history. 

Many of these stones read 

"Gone but not forgotten". 

I came home to this: 

Yep, I've got to make MORE salsa! 


Don't forget to sign up for the book giveaway, "Homegrown and Handmade", by author Deborah Niemann. 
We'll be pulling a name on Tuesday for it. 

You can sign up by leaving a comment HERE. 


  1. We had a very lovely old school house here, a group from Texas came and took it down and supposedly rebuilt it in TX. Why anyone would tear down and move a schoolhouse from NY to TX is beyond me. God only knows what they were thinking.

  2. What a shame that you weren't able to get the old schoolhouse and make it into a home that would have lasted. I do remember those old interest rates. Our interest rate is much lower now than the house we owned during that time. I used to love walking through old cemeteries. Not so much now--maybe because the time is closer when I might find myself there!

    I hope pictures of the new little goat come soon, can't wait!

  3. I find cemeteries interesting, too. My wife thinks I'm weird.

  4. I love old grave yards. Reading the head stones, and letting stories wonder through your head. Sometimes I visit the grave yards, clean a little around the head stones and wonder about each person. What they looked like, what was their background, did they have family, and how or what caused them to pass away (natural or other means).

    Yes, I know I'm strange, lol.........

    How about a couple of tires for the goats, you can usually get them free. They can be stacked, I use them in my garden to put around my potatoes.

  5. Hi Mary Ann,

    I so enjoyed your account of the old school house and felt sad that you didn't get a chance to contract it! I can understand how people can become attached to such fine, old buildings, especially when there's a history to them or for nostalgic reasons. Thanks for sharing and hope you had some sweet and tasty salsa to ease the bitterness of your disappearing school house!


  6. We love, love, love that mule picture! What a handsome chap and all for us - thank you :-) Really interesting post, always enjoy learning about other places and times. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. I have heard of people that sell old buildings like your schoolhouse and relocate them some where else for historical preservation. Sometimes they are put in parks so the tourists can see them. Interesting hearing about how the civil war veterans relocated with the homestead act. I love history too.

  8. I really enjoyed looking at that old graveyard you found. We went one year to the place my husband's family is all buried. It was such a wonderful place. I got the idea that one must be as well.
    I hope you find your old schoolhouse. I hope someone moved it and made it into a home.

  9. Beautiful tomatoes. The hubbies son-in-law's family place has an old cemetery on it. There is one in the woods about a mile from my property one. My neighbor now owns it, he bought that property a few years ago.


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