This is one of those buildings that you drive by once, and you just feel drawn to it. It's like the energy that surrounds it pulls you in like a magnet. It's so strange, because I go to places like this, or I see different churches, or old barns and it's almost like I can feel the emotion that once ran into the front door. The stories the stones around the bottom of the building must have heard. The things the trees saw. The little feet running up and down the steps. The hands that opened the doors and filled the walls with stories and knowledge. It goes on and on. So of course, curiosity killed the cat and I sent an email to the county asking for more information about this place. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. I spoke with a woman named Sally, and the information she had made me fall even more in love with the place. There's something about history that makes my heart smile.
The original structure was actually a log cabin that was built around 1849. It burnt down around 1860 and was replaced with the wood frame that you see today. To add on to the history, just about everything is original to the schoolhouse. In the 1950's an addition was added on to the back, which is where the bathrooms and heating were added in to. When the building was restored in 1998/1999, the addition was removed. In 1964, the schools consolidated and the one room schools that were still in use had closed. A few have been turned into homes and the others are more than likely no longer standing. Bowne Center School now represents all of the one room schools that used to be in service in Bowne Township.
I'm in the process of making an appointment to go in, as they have pictures of all of the students and teachers that have ever stepped foot in the school house, I've always been told I'm an old soul. And being around old structures like this, and how excited I get about the history around them, truly makes me believe I am 87 in a 23 year olds body.
Take the time in life to take the back road, you never know what you'll find or run across. But I can promise you this; you'll be glad you did. Take the time the remainder of this year to learn about your favorite building, person, or to even just discover what makes you happy. Because one day, I know I'll look back on my random adventure with my family and smile. It's the unexpected journeys that make life worth living.