Monday, November 19, 2012

Assumption Catholic School

So on Election Day, Joni and I had to drive to Omaha to see Dr. Feilmeier, which I have already talked about. As I also mentioned before, we drove by the polling place for our rural area to vote on our way out of town.

Our polling place is a small country church that sits 5 miles east and 2 miles north of us. That places it exactly in the middle of nowhere. Upon leaving the church I headed due north, not exactly sure where we would come out but knowing the interstate was north of us and we would hit it eventually. So we drove north and made one little jog to the east and, as it turned out, we were due north of Shelton, heading up the blacktop toward the interstate on and off ramps. Just before we got to the interstate we came across this incredible looking house.

My photo of Assumption SchoolDoes this look like a haunted house or what? We didn’t stop that day because we had an appointment to keep in Omaha, but on my next day off we grabbed the camera and headed back over here. Of course, neither of us had any idea what this grand old house was doing here but I was dying to find out. There was a realtor sign on the property with an internet address, so after taking some pictures we went back home to do some research.

Sepia toned Assumption School with crowds of peopleFrom the realtor’s website I learned that this building was once the Assumption Catholic School in Assumption, Nebraska. I had never heard of Assumption, Nebraska so I had to look that up too. It was a little township in Southwest Adams County, near where Roseland would later be established and not far from Juniata, which was then the county seat. Immigrants from Germany and Luxembourg originally settled the area. The Assumption School was built in 1899 at a cost of $2,600 and classes began in September 1900. School attendance peaked between 1912 and 1915 with around 120 students.

Assumption School on an open prairieThis is the Assumption School shortly after its construction. There were two large classrooms on the second floor of the building while the main floor served as living quarters for the administrators of the school, the Sisters of the Precious Blood of Jesus of O’Fallon, Missouri. In addition, there was a small room in one corner of the main floor set aside for boarders, girls who lived far away. Each school day began with Mass at 8:30 and then the children divided for classes, boys in one room and girls in the other. Tuition in 1901 was $1 per student per semester and the children were also required to buy their own books and supplies.

Assumption School on a paved streetI’m not sure what year this picture was taken but you can see that the surrounding area looks more developed, while in the older picture it looks like the school is sitting out on an open prairie. In the 1920’s, classes were added for grades 9 and 10. During the ‘40’s a hot lunch program began in the parish hall next door to the school. In 1957 a kitchen and dining room were added to the school building and indoor restrooms were also added that year. In 1970 the number of grades was reduced from 8 to 6. The Assumption Catholic School finally closed in 1978 due to declining enrollment although it sounds like the building was still used for religious classes for some time after that.

As I mentioned, the building stands just south of the Shelton interchange on I-80, right between the interstate and the Platte River. I used to drive that road a lot when I was going to school in Hastings and I wondered why I didn’t remember the building. Being such a grand structure I’m sure I would have noticed it. I discovered that the Assumption School was moved to this site in 1998, which answered that question. It was the oldest standing school building in Adams County before being moved to its present location in Buffalo County.

It was fun visiting this old building and getting a few pictures and I learned a little bit about Nebraska history in the process, always a good thing. You just never know what you’ll come across while driving around some of the back roads.

1 comment:

  1. What an eerie place. Besides getting the feeling of it being a boarding house and feeling children present at our visit BEFORE knowing the story, the puzzling question is, WHY was it moved?

    A tradgedy that no one could bear to go back into the place, and too grand to rip down, they decided to move it.

    Kinda like moving the headstones and not the bodies? ;)

    I would absolutely LOVE to buy this and turn it back into the grand place that it once was. Even with all the spirits there. teeheehee

    Now where can we find 200 grand?